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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6793
Irenaeus, Refutation Of All Heresies, 4.33


nanBut after he discontinues uttering these jests, a fiery Aesculapius appears upon the floor. Then, placing in the midst a pot full of water, he invokes all the deities, and they are present. For any one who is by, glancing into the pot, will behold them all, and Diana leading on her baying hounds. We shall not, however, shrink from narrating the account (of the devices) of these men, how they attempt (to accomplish their jugglery). For (the magician) lays his hand upon the cauldron of pitch, which is in, as it were, a boiling state; and throwing in (at the same time) vinegar and nitre and moist pitch, he kindles a fire beneath the cauldron. The vinegar, however, being mixed along with the nitre, on receiving a small accession of heat, moves the pitch, so as to cause bubbles to rise to the surface, and afford the mere semblance of a seething (pot). The (sorcerer), however, previously washes his hands frequently in brine; the consequence being, that the contents of the cauldron do not in any wise, though in reality boiling, burn him very much. But if, having smeared his hands with a tincture of myrtle and nitre and myrrh, along with vinegar, he wash them in brine frequently, he is not scorched: and he does not burn his feet, provided he smear them with isinglass and a salamander. As regards, however, the burning like a taper of the pyramid, though composed of stone, the cause of this is the following. Chalky earth is fashioned into the shape of a pyramid, but its color is that of a milk-white stone, and it is prepared after this fashion. Having anointed the piece of clay with plenty of oil, and put it upon coals, and baked it, by smearing it afresh, and scorching it a second and third time, and frequently, (the sorcerer) contrives that it can be burned, even though he should plunge it in water; for it contains in itself abundance of oil. The hearth, however, is spontaneously kindled, while the magician pours out a libation, by having time instead of ashes burning underneath, and refined frankincense and a large quantity of tow, and a bundle of anointed tapers and of gall nuts, hollow within, and supplied with (concealed) fire. And after some delay, (the sorcerer) makes (the pyramid) emit smoke from the mouth, by both putting fire in the gall nut, and encircling it with tow, and blowing into the mouth. The linen cloth, however, that has been placed round the cauldron, (and) on which he deposits the coals, on account of the underlying brine, would not be burned; besides, that it has itself been washed in brine, and then smeared with the white of an egg, along with moist alum. And if, likewise, one mix in these the juice of house-leek along with vinegar, and for a long time previously smear it (with this preparation), after being washed in this drug, it continues altogether fire-proof.


nanMoreover, he shall also examine the doctrine of Marcion, [inquiring] how he holds that there are two gods, separated from each other by an infinite distance. Or how can he be good who draws away men that do not belong to him from him who made them, and calls them into his own kingdom? And why is his goodness, which does not save all [thus], defective? Also, why does he, indeed, seem to be good as respects men, but most unjust with regard to him who made men, inasmuch as he deprives him of his possessions? Moreover, how could the Lord, with any justice, if He belonged to another father, have acknowledged the bread to be His body, while He took it from that creation to which we belong, and affirmed the mixed cup to be His blood? And why did He acknowledge Himself to be the Son of man, if He had not gone through that birth which belongs to a human being? How, too, could He forgive us those sins for which we are answerable to our Maker and God? And how, again, supposing that He was not flesh, but was a man merely in appearance, could He have been crucified, and could blood and water have issued from His pierced side? What body, moreover, was it that those who buried Him consigned to the tomb? And what was that which rose again from the dead? Hate to me that man as Hades' gates, Who one thing thinks, while he another states. [This spiritual man] shall also judge the vain speeches of the perverse Gnostics, by showing that they are the disciples of Simon Magus.,[This spiritual man] shall also judge all the followers of Valentinus, because they do indeed confess with the tongue one God the Father, and that all things derive their existence from Him, but do at the same time maintain that He who formed all things is the fruit of an apostasy or defect. [He shall judge them, too, because] they do in like manner confess with the tongue one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, but assign in their [system of] doctrine a production of his own to the Only- begotten, one of his own also to the Word, another to Christ, and yet another to the Saviour; so that, according to them, all these beings are indeed said [in Scripture to be], as it were, one; [while they maintain], notwithstanding, that each one of them should be understood [to exist] separately [from the rest], and to have [had] his own special origin, according to his peculiar conjunction. [It appears], then that their tongues alone, forsooth, have conceded the unity [of God], while their [real] opinion and their understanding (by their habit of investigating profundities) have fallen away from [this doctrine of] unity, and taken up the notion of manifold deities,--[this, I say, must appear] when they shall be examined by Christ as to the points [of doctrine] which they have invented. Him, too, they affirm to have been born at a later period than the Pleroma of the Aeons, and that His production took place after [the occurrence of] a degeneracy or apostasy; and they maintain that, on account of the passion which was experienced by Sophia, they themselves were brought to the birth. But their own special prophet Homer, listening to whom they have invented such doctrines, shall himself reprove them, when he expresses himself as follows:--,He will judge also the Ebionites; [for] how can they be saved unless it was God who wrought out their salvation upon earth? Or how shall man pass into God, unless God has [first] passed into man? And how shall he (man) escape from the generation subject to death, if not by means of a new generation, given in a wonderful and unexpected manner (but as a sign of salvation) by God-- [I mean] that regeneration which flows from the virgin through faith? Or how shall they receive adoption from God if they remain in this [kind of] generation, which is naturally possessed by man in this world? And how could He (Christ) have been greater than Solomon, or greater than Jonah, or have been the Lord of David, who was of the same substance as they were? How, too, could He have subdued him who was stronger than men, who had not only overcome man, but also retained him under his power, and conquered him who had conquered, while he set free mankind who had been conquered, unless He had been greater than man who had thus been vanquished? But who else is superior to, and more eminent than, that man who was formed after the likeness of God, except the Son of God, after whose image man was created? And for this reason He did in these last days exhibit the similitude; [for] the Son of God was made man, assuming the ancient production [of His hands] into His own nature, as I have shown in the immediately preceding book.,He shall also judge those who describe Christ as [having become man] only in [human] opinion. For how can they imagine that they do themselves carry on a real discussion, when their Master was a mere imaginary being? Or how can they receive anything stedfast from Him, if He was a merely imagined being, and not a verity? And how can these men really be partaken of salvation, if He in whom they profess to believe, manifested Himself as a merely imaginary being? Everything, therefore, connected with these men is unreal, and nothing [possessed of the character of] truth; and, in these circumstances, it may be made a question whether (since, perchance, they themselves in like manner are not men, but mere dumb animals) they do not present, in most cases, simply a shadow of humanity.,He shall also judge false prophets, who, without having received the gift of prophecy from God, and not possessed of the fear of God, but either for the sake of vainglory, or with a view to some personal advantage, or acting in some other way under the influence of a wicked spirit, pretend to utter prophecies, while all the time they lie against God.,He shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, [positively] destroy it,--men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. For no reformation of so great importance can be effected by them, as will compensate for the mischief arising from their schism. He shall also judge all those who are beyond the pale of the truth, that is, who are outside the Church; but he himself shall be judged by no one. For to him all things are consistent: he has a full faith in one God Almighty, of whom are all things; and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom are all things, and in the dispensations connected with Him, by means of which the Son of God became man; and a firm belief in the Spirit of God, who furnishes us with a knowledge of the truth, and has set forth the dispensations of the Father and the Son, in virtue of which He dwells with every generation of men, according to the will of the Father.,True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre- eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God].,Wherefore the Church does in every place, because of that love which she cherishes towards God, send forward, throughout all time, a multitude of martyrs to the Father; while all others not only have nothing of this kind to point to among themselves, but even maintain that such witness-bearing is not at all necessary, for that their system of doctrines is the true witness [for Christ], with the exception, perhaps, that one or two among them, during the whole time which has elapsed since the Lord appeared on earth, have occasionally, along with our martyrs, borne the reproach of the name (as if he too [the heretic] had obtained mercy), and have been led forth with them [to death], being, as it were, a sort of retinue granted unto them. For the Church alone sustains with purity the reproach of those who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake, and endure all sorts of punishments, and are put to death because of the love which they bear to God, and their confession of His Son; often weakened indeed, yet immediately increasing her members, and becoming whole again, after the same manner as her type," Lot's wife, who became a pillar of salt. Thus, too, [she passes through an experience] similar to that of the ancient prophets, as the Lord declares, "For so persecuted they the prophets who were before you;", inasmuch as she does indeed, in a new fashion, suffer persecution from those who do not receive the word of God, while the self-same spirit rests upon her [as upon these ancient prophets].,And indeed the prophets, along with other things which they predicted, also foretold this, that all those on whom the Spirit of God should rest, and who would obey the word of the Father, and serve Him according to their ability, should suffer persecution, and be stoned and slain. For the prophets prefigured in themselves all these things, because of their love to God, and on account of His word. For since they themselves were members of Christ, each; one of them in his place as a member did, in accordance with this, set forth the prophecy [assigned him]; all of them, although many, prefiguring only one, and proclaiming the things which pertain to one. For just as the working of the whole body is exhibited through means of our members, while the figure of a complete man is not displayed by one member, but through means of all taken together, so also did all the prophets prefigure the one [Christ]; while every one of them, in his special place as a member, did, in accordance with this, fill up the [established] dispensation, and shadowed forth beforehand that particular working of Christ which was connected with that member.,For some of them, beholding Him in glory, saw His glorious life (conversationem) at the Father's right hand; others beheld Him coming on the clouds as the Son of man; and those who declared regarding Him, "They shall look on Him whom they have pierced," indicated His [second] advent, concerning which He Himself says, "Thinkest thou that when the Son of man cometh, He shall find faith on the earth?'' Paul also refers to this event when he says, "If, however, it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you that are troubled rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with His mighty angels, and in a flame of fire." Others again, speaking of Him as a judge, and [referring], as if it were a burning furnace, [to] the day of the Lord, who "gathers the wheat into His barn, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire,'' were accustomed to threaten those who were unbelieving, concerning whom also the Lord Himself declares, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which my Father has prepared for the devil and his angels." And the apostle in like manner says [of them], "Who shall be punished with everlasting death from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in those who believe in Him." There are also some [of them] who declare, "Thou art fairer than the children of men;" and, "God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows;" and, "Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with Thy beauty and Thy fairness, and go forward and proceed prosperously; and rule Thou because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness." And whatever other things of a like nature are spoken regarding Him, these indicated that beauty and splendour which exist in His kingdom, along with the transcendent and pre-eminent exaltation [belonging] to all who are under His sway, that those who hear might desire to be found there, doing such things as are pleasing to God. Again, there are those who say, "He is a man, and who shall know him?" and, "I came unto the prophetess, and she bare a son, and His name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God;" and those [of them] who proclaimed Him as Immanuel, [born] of the Virgin, exhibited the union of the Word of God with His own workmanship, [declaring] that the Word should become flesh, and the Son of God the Son of man (the pure One opening purely that pure womb which regenerates men unto God, and which He Himself made pure); and having become this which we also are, He [nevertheless] is the Mighty God, and possesses a generation which cannot be declared. And there are also some of them who say, "The Lord hath spoken in Zion, and uttered His voice from Jerusalem;" and, "In Judah is God known;"--these indicated His advent which took place in Judea. Those, again, who declare that "God comes from the south, and from a mountain thick with foliage," announced His advent at Bethlehem, as I have pointed out in the preceding book. From that place, also, He who rules, and who feeds the people of His Father, has come. Those, again, who declare that at His coming "the lame man shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall [speak] plainly, and the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear," and that "the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, shall be strengthened," and that "the dead which are in the grave shall arise," and that He Himself" shall take [upon Him] our weaknesses, and bear our sorrows,"--[all these] proclaimed those works of healing which were accomplished by Him.,Some of them, moreover--[when they predicted that] as a weak and inglorious man, and as one who knew what it was to bear infirmity, and sitting upon the foal of an ass, He should come to Jerusalem; and that He should give His back to stripes, and His cheeks to palms [which struck Him]; and that He should be led as a sheep to the slaughter; and that He should have vinegar and gall given Him to drink; and that He should be forsaken by His friends and those nearest to Him; and that He should stretch forth His hands the whole day long; and that He should be mocked and maligned by those who looked upon Him; and that His garments should be parted, and lots cast upon His raiment; and that He should be brought down to the dust of death? with all [the other] things of a like nature--prophesied His coming in the character of a man as He entered Jerusalem, in which by His passion and crucifixion He endured all the things which have been mentioned. Others, again, when they said, "The holy Lord remembered His own dead ones who slept in the dust, and came down to them to raise them up, that He might save them," furnished us with the reason on account of which He suffered all these things. Those, moreover, who said, "In that day, saith the Lord, the sun shall go down at noon, and there shall be darkness over the earth in the clear day; and I will turn your feast days into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation," plainly announced that obscuration of the sun which at the time of His crucifixion took place from the sixth hour onwards, and that after this event, those days which were their festivals according to the law, and their songs, should be changed into grief and lamentation when they were handed over to the Gentiles. Jeremiah, too, makes this point still clearer, when he thus speaks concerning Jerusalem: "She that hath born [seven] languisheth; her soul hath become weary; her sun hath gone down while it was yet noon; she hath been confounded, and suffered reproach: the remainder of them will I give to the sword in the sight of their enemies.",Those of them, again, who spoke of His having slumbered and taken sleep, and of His having risen again because the Lord sustained Him, and who enjoined the principalities of heaven to set open the everlasting doors, that the King of glory might go in, proclaimed beforehand His resurrection from the dead through the Father's power, and His reception into heaven. And when they expressed themselves thus, "His going forth is from the height of heaven, and His returning even to the highest heaven; and there is no one who can hide himself from His heat," they announced that very truth of His being taken up again to the place from which He came down, and that there is no one who can escape His righteous judgment. And those who said, "The Lord hath reigned; let the people be enraged: [even] He who sitteth upon the cherubim; let the earth be moved," were thus predicting partly that wrath from all nations which after His ascension came upon those who believed in Him, with the movement of the whole earth against the Church; and partly the fact that, when He comes from heaven with His mighty angels, the whole earth shall be shaken, as He Himself declares, "There shall be a great earthquake, such as has not been from the beginning." And again, when one says, "Whosoever is judged, let him stand opposite; and whosoever is justified, let him draw near to the servant of God;" and, "Woe unto you, for ye shall wax old as doth a garment, and the moth shall eat you up;" and, "All flesh shall be humbled, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in the highest,"--it is thus indicated that, after His passion and ascension, God shall cast down under His feet all who were opposed to Him, and He shall be exalted above all, and there shall be no one who can be justified or compared to Him.,And those of them who declare that God would make a new covenant with men, not such as that which He made with the fathers at Mount Horeb, and would give to men a new heart and a new spirit;" and again, "And remember ye not the things of old: behold, I make new things which shall now arise, and ye shall know it; and I will make a way in the desert, and riven in a dry land, to give drink to my chosen people, my people whom I have acquired, that they may show forth my praise,"--plainly announced that liberty which distinguishes the new covenant, and the new wine which is put into new bottles, [that is], the faith which is in Christ, by which He has proclaimed the way of righteousness sprung up in the desert, and the streams of the Holy Spirit in a dry land, to give water to the elect people of God, whom He has acquired, that they might show forth His praise, but not that they might blaspheme Him who made these things, that is, God.,And all those other points which I have shown the prophets to have uttered by means of so long a series of Scriptures, he who is truly spiritual will interpret by pointing out, in regard to every one of the things which have been spoken, to what special point in the dispensation of the Lord is referred, and [by thus exhibiting] the entire system of the work of the Son of God, knowing always the same God, and always acknowledging the same Word of God, although He has [but] now been manifested to us; acknowledging also at all times the same Spirit of God, although He has been poured out upon us after a new fashion in these last times, [knowing that He descends] even from the creation of the world to its end upon the human race simply as such, from whom those who believe God and follow His word receive that salvation which flows from Him. Those, on the other hand, who depart from Him, and despise His precepts, and by their deeds bring dishonour on Him who made them, and by their opinions blaspheme Him who nourishes them, heap up against themselves most righteous judgment. He therefore (i.e., the spiritual man) sifts and tries them all, but he himself is tried by no man: he neither blasphemes his Father, nor sets aside His dispensations, nor inveighs against the fathers, nor dishonours the prophets, by maintaining that they were [sent] from another God [than he worships], or again, that their prophecies were derived from different sources.


nanA spiritual disciple of this sort truly receiving the Spirit of God, who was from the beginning, in all the dispensations of God, present with mankind, and announced things future, revealed things present, and narrated things past--[such a man] does indeed "judge all men, but is himself judged by no man." For he judges the Gentiles, "who serve the creature more than the Creator," and with a reprobate mind spend all their labour on vanity. And he also judges the Jews, who do not accept of the word of liberty, nor are willing to go forth free, although they have a Deliverer present [with them]; but they pretend, at a time unsuitable [for such conduct], to serve, [with observances] beyond [those required by] the law, God who stands in need of nothing, and do not recognise the advent of Christ, which He accomplished for the salvation of men, nor are willing to understand that all the prophets announced His two advents: the one, indeed, in which He became a man subject to stripes, and knowing what it is to bear infirmity, and sat upon the foal of an ass, and was a stone rejected by the builders, and was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and by the stretching forth of His hands destroyed Amalek; while He gathered from the ends of the earth into His Father's fold the children who were scattered abroad, and remembered His own dead ones who had formerly fallen asleep, and came down to them that He might deliver them: but the second in which He will come on the clouds, bringing on the day which burns as a furnace? and smiting the earth with the word of His mouth? and slaying the impious with the breath of His lips, and having a fan in His hands, and cleansing His floor, and gathering the wheat indeed into His barn, but burning the chaff with unquenchable fire.


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

13 results
1. Cicero, On Divination, 2.5 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.5. Nec vero id effici posse confido, quod ne postulandum quidem est, ut omnes adulescentes se ad haec studia convertant. Pauci utinam! quorum tamen in re publica late patere poterit industria. Equidem ex iis etiam fructum capio laboris mei, qui iam aetate provecti in nostris libris adquiescunt; quorum studio legendi meum scribendi studium vehementius in dies incitatur; quos quidem plures, quam rebar, esse cognovi. Magnificum illud etiam Romanisque hominibus gloriosum, ut Graecis de philosophia litteris non egeant; 2.5. of course, I have no assurance — it could not even be expected — that they will all turn to these studies. Would that a few may! Though few, their activity may yet have a wide influence in the state. In fact, I am receiving some reward for my labour even from men advanced in years; for they are finding comfort in my books, and by their ardour in reading are raising my eagerness for writing to a higher pitch every day. Their number, too, I learn, is far greater than I had expected. Furthermore, it would redound to the fame and glory of the Roman people to be made independent of Greek writers in the study of philosophy 2.5. The conception, it may be, is contrary to the usual course of nature, but the parturition follows as a necessary sequel of conception.[23] It seems useless to say more about soothsaying. However, let us examine its origin and thus we shall very readily determine its value. The tradition is that, once upon a time, in the district of Tarquinii, while a field was being ploughed, the ploughshare went deeper than usual and a certain Tages suddenly sprang forth and spoke to the ploughman. Now this Tages, according to the Etruscan annals, is said to have had the appearance of a boy, but the wisdom of a seer. Astounded and much frightened at the sight, the rustic raised a great cry; a crowd gathered and, indeed, in a short time, the whole of Etruria assembled at the spot. Tages then spoke at length to his numerous hearers, who received with eagerness all that he had to say, and committed it to writing. His whole address was devoted to an exposition of the science of soothsaying. Later, as new facts were learned and tested by reference to the principles imparted by Tages, they were added to the original fund of knowledge.This is the story as we get it from the Etruscans themselves and as their records preserve it, and this, in their own opinion, is the origin of their art.
2. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 2.15-2.16, 11.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.15. But he who is spiritual discerns allthings, and he himself is judged by no one. 2.16. For who has knownthe mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?" But we haveChrist's mind. 11.19. For there also mustbe factions among you, that those who are approved may be revealedamong you.
3. New Testament, Galatians, 5.19-5.21 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5.19. Now the works of the fleshare obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness,lustfulness 5.20. idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies,outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies 5.21. envyings,murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which Iforewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practicesuch things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
4. New Testament, Romans, 9.28, 13.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

9.28. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth. 13.10. Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.
5. New Testament, Titus, 3.10-3.11 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.10. Avoid a factious man after a first and second warning; 3.11. knowing that such a one is perverted, and sins, being self-condemned.
6. New Testament, Mark, 8.34-8.36 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8.34. He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, "Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 8.35. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 8.36. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?
7. New Testament, Matthew, 6.7, 6.27, 13.38 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.7. In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. 6.27. Which of you, by being anxious, can add one cubit to the measure of his life? 13.38. the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the darnel are the sons of the evil one.
8. Plutarch, On The Obsolescence of Oracles, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

432c. Souls therefore, all possessed of this power, which is innate but dim and hardly manifest, nevertheless oftentimes disclose its flower and radiance in dreams, and some in the hour of death, when the body becomes cleansed of all impurities and attains a temperament adapted to this end, a temperament through which the reasoning and thinking faculty of the souls is relaxed and released from their present state as they range amid the irrational and imaginative realms of the future. It is not true, as Euripides says, that The best of seers is he that guesses well; no, the best of seers is the intelligent man, following the guidance of that in his soul which possesses sense and which, with the help of reasonable probability, leads him on his way. But that which foretells the future, like a tablet without writing
9. Plutarch, Oracles At Delphi No Longer Given In Verse, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 4.28, 4.41 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.28. ... And (the sorcerer), taking (a paper), directs the inquirer to write down with water whatever questions he may desire to have asked from the demons. Then, folding up the paper, and delivering it to the attendant, he sends him away to commit it to the flames, that the ascending smoke may waft the letters to demons. While, however, the attendant is executing this order, (the sorcerer) first removes equal portions of the paper, and on some more parts of it he pretends that demons write in Hebrew characters. Then burning an incense of the Egyptian magicians, termed Cyphi, he takes these (portions of paper) away, and places them near the incense. But (that paper) which the inquirer happens to have written (upon), having placed on the coals, he has burned. Then (the sorcerer), appearing to be borne away under divine influence, (and) hurrying into a corner (of the house), utters a loud and harsh cry, and unintelligible to all, ... and orders all those present to enter, crying out (at the same time), and invoking Phryn, or some other demon. But after passing into the house, and when those that were present stood side by side, the sorcerer, flinging the attendant upon a bed, utters to him several words, partly in the Greek, and partly, as it were, the Hebrew language, (embodying) the customary incantations employed by the magicians. (The attendant), however, goes away to make the inquiry. And within (the house), into a vessel full of water (the sorcerer) infusing copperas mixture, and melting the drug, having with it sprinkled the paper that forsooth had (the characters upon it) obliterated, he forces the latent and concealed letters to come once more into light; and by these he ascertains what the inquirer has written down. And if one write with copperas mixture likewise, and having ground a gall nut, use its vapour as a fumigator, the concealed letters would become plain. And if one write with milk, (and) then scorch the paper, and scraping it, sprinkle and rub (what is thus scraped off) upon the letters traced with the milk, these will become plain. And urine likewise, and sauce of brine, and juice of euphorbia, and of a fig, produce a similar result. But when (the sorcerer) has ascertained the question in this mode, he makes provision for the manner in which be ought to give the reply. And next he orders those that are present to enter, holding laurel branches and shaking them, and uttering cries, and invoking the demon Phryn. For also it becomes these to invoke him; and it is worthy that they make this request from demons, which they do not wish of themselves to put forward, having lost their minds. The confused noise, however, and the tumult, prevent them directing attention to those things which it is supposed (the sorcerer) does in secret. But what these are, the present is a fair opportunity for us to declare. Considerable darkness, then, prevails. For the (sorcerer) affirms that it is impossible for mortal nature to behold divine things, for that to hold converse (with these mysteries) is sufficient. Making, however, the attendant lie down (upon the couch), head foremost, and placing by each side two of those little tablets, upon which had been inscribed in, forsooth, Hebrew characters, as it were names of demons, he says that (a demon) will deposit the rest in their ears. But this (statement) is requisite, in order that some instrument may be placed beside the ears of the attendant, by which it is possible that he signify everything which he chooses. First, however, he produces a sound that the (attendant) youth may be terrified; and secondly, he makes a humming noise; then, thirdly, he speaks through the instrument what he wishes the youth to say, and remains in expectation of the issue of the affair; next, he makes those present remain still, and directs the (attendant) to signify, what he has heard from the demons. But the instrument that is placed beside his ears is a natural instrument, viz., the windpipe of long-necked cranes, or storks, or swans. And if none of these is at hand, there are also some different artificial instruments (employed); for certain pipes of brass, ten in number, (and) fitting into one another, terminating in a narrow point, are adapted (for the purpose), and through these is spoken into the ear whatsoever the (magician) wishes. And the youth hearing these (words) with terror as uttered by demons, when ordered, speaks them out. If any one, however, putting around a stick a moist hide, and having dried it and drawn it together, close it up, and by removing the rod fashion the hide into the form of a pipe, he attains a similar end. Should any of these, however, be not at hand, he takes a book, and, opening it inside, stretches it out as far as he think requisite, (and thus) achieves the same result. But if he knows beforehand that one is present who is about to ask a question, he is the more ready for all (contingencies). If, however, he may also previously ascertain the question, he writes (it) with the drug, and, as being prepared, he is considered more skilful, on account of having clearly written out what is (about) being asked. If, however, he is ignorant of the question, he forms conjectures, and puts forth something capable of a doubtful and varied interpretation, in order that the oracular response, being originally unintelligible, may serve for numerous purposes, and in the issue of events the prediction may be considered correspondent with what actually occurs. Next, having filled a vessel with water, he puts down (into it) the paper, as if uninscribed, at the same time infusing along with it copperas mixture. For in this way the paper written upon floats upwards (to the surface), bearing the response. Accordingly there ensue frequently to the attendant formidable fancies for also he strikes blows plentifully on the terrified (bystanders). For, casting incense into the fire, he again operates after the following method. Covering a lump of what are called fossil salts with Etruscan wax, and dividing the piece itself of incense into two parts, he throws in a grain of salt; and again joining (the piece) together, and placing it on the burning coals, he leaves it there. And when this is consumed, the salts, bounding upwards, create the impression of, as it were, a strange vision taking place. And the dark-blue dye which has been deposited in the incense produces a blood-red flame, as we have already declared. But (the sorcerer) makes a scarlet liquid, by mixing wax with alkanet, and, as I said, depositing the wax in the incense. And he makes the coals be moved, placing underneath powdered alum; and when this is dissolved and swells up like bubbles, the coals are moved. 4.41. But putting a skull on the ground, they make it speak in this manner. The skull itself is made out of the caul of an ox; and when fashioned into the requisite figure, by means of Etruscan wax and prepared gum, (and) when this membrane is placed around, it presents the appearance of a skull, which seems to all to speak when the contrivance operates; in the same manner as we have explained in the case of the (attendant) youths, when, having procured the windpipe of a crane, or some such long-necked animal, and attaching it covertly to the skull, the accomplice utters what he wishes. And when he desires (the skull) to become invisible, he appears as if burning incense, placing around, (for this purpose,) a quantity of coals; and when the wax catches the heat of these, it melts, and in this way the skull is supposed to become invisible.
12. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 1.10.1-1.10.2, 1.26.1, 1.28.1, 2.9.1, 3.1.1, 3.2.1-3.2.3, 3.4.2, 3.5.1-3.5.3, 3.11.1, 3.11.3, 3.11.7, 3.11.9, 3.12.7, 3.12.12, 3.13-3.14, 3.16.1, 3.16.6, 3.19, 3.21.1, 3.22.1, 3.23.8, 3.24.1-3.24.2, 4.2.2, 4.6.4, 4.8.1, 4.12.5, 4.18.4, 4.26.2, 4.28, 4.33.1-4.33.5, 4.33.7, 4.34, 4.35.4, 4.37-4.39, 4.41.1-4.41.2, 5.13.2, 5.19.2, 5.20.1-5.20.2, 5.35.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.28. ... And (the sorcerer), taking (a paper), directs the inquirer to write down with water whatever questions he may desire to have asked from the demons. Then, folding up the paper, and delivering it to the attendant, he sends him away to commit it to the flames, that the ascending smoke may waft the letters to demons. While, however, the attendant is executing this order, (the sorcerer) first removes equal portions of the paper, and on some more parts of it he pretends that demons write in Hebrew characters. Then burning an incense of the Egyptian magicians, termed Cyphi, he takes these (portions of paper) away, and places them near the incense. But (that paper) which the inquirer happens to have written (upon), having placed on the coals, he has burned. Then (the sorcerer), appearing to be borne away under divine influence, (and) hurrying into a corner (of the house), utters a loud and harsh cry, and unintelligible to all, ... and orders all those present to enter, crying out (at the same time), and invoking Phryn, or some other demon. But after passing into the house, and when those that were present stood side by side, the sorcerer, flinging the attendant upon a bed, utters to him several words, partly in the Greek, and partly, as it were, the Hebrew language, (embodying) the customary incantations employed by the magicians. (The attendant), however, goes away to make the inquiry. And within (the house), into a vessel full of water (the sorcerer) infusing copperas mixture, and melting the drug, having with it sprinkled the paper that forsooth had (the characters upon it) obliterated, he forces the latent and concealed letters to come once more into light; and by these he ascertains what the inquirer has written down. And if one write with copperas mixture likewise, and having ground a gall nut, use its vapour as a fumigator, the concealed letters would become plain. And if one write with milk, (and) then scorch the paper, and scraping it, sprinkle and rub (what is thus scraped off) upon the letters traced with the milk, these will become plain. And urine likewise, and sauce of brine, and juice of euphorbia, and of a fig, produce a similar result. But when (the sorcerer) has ascertained the question in this mode, he makes provision for the manner in which be ought to give the reply. And next he orders those that are present to enter, holding laurel branches and shaking them, and uttering cries, and invoking the demon Phryn. For also it becomes these to invoke him; and it is worthy that they make this request from demons, which they do not wish of themselves to put forward, having lost their minds. The confused noise, however, and the tumult, prevent them directing attention to those things which it is supposed (the sorcerer) does in secret. But what these are, the present is a fair opportunity for us to declare. Considerable darkness, then, prevails. For the (sorcerer) affirms that it is impossible for mortal nature to behold divine things, for that to hold converse (with these mysteries) is sufficient. Making, however, the attendant lie down (upon the couch), head foremost, and placing by each side two of those little tablets, upon which had been inscribed in, forsooth, Hebrew characters, as it were names of demons, he says that (a demon) will deposit the rest in their ears. But this (statement) is requisite, in order that some instrument may be placed beside the ears of the attendant, by which it is possible that he signify everything which he chooses. First, however, he produces a sound that the (attendant) youth may be terrified; and secondly, he makes a humming noise; then, thirdly, he speaks through the instrument what he wishes the youth to say, and remains in expectation of the issue of the affair; next, he makes those present remain still, and directs the (attendant) to signify, what he has heard from the demons. But the instrument that is placed beside his ears is a natural instrument, viz., the windpipe of long-necked cranes, or storks, or swans. And if none of these is at hand, there are also some different artificial instruments (employed); for certain pipes of brass, ten in number, (and) fitting into one another, terminating in a narrow point, are adapted (for the purpose), and through these is spoken into the ear whatsoever the (magician) wishes. And the youth hearing these (words) with terror as uttered by demons, when ordered, speaks them out. If any one, however, putting around a stick a moist hide, and having dried it and drawn it together, close it up, and by removing the rod fashion the hide into the form of a pipe, he attains a similar end. Should any of these, however, be not at hand, he takes a book, and, opening it inside, stretches it out as far as he think requisite, (and thus) achieves the same result. But if he knows beforehand that one is present who is about to ask a question, he is the more ready for all (contingencies). If, however, he may also previously ascertain the question, he writes (it) with the drug, and, as being prepared, he is considered more skilful, on account of having clearly written out what is (about) being asked. If, however, he is ignorant of the question, he forms conjectures, and puts forth something capable of a doubtful and varied interpretation, in order that the oracular response, being originally unintelligible, may serve for numerous purposes, and in the issue of events the prediction may be considered correspondent with what actually occurs. Next, having filled a vessel with water, he puts down (into it) the paper, as if uninscribed, at the same time infusing along with it copperas mixture. For in this way the paper written upon floats upwards (to the surface), bearing the response. Accordingly there ensue frequently to the attendant formidable fancies for also he strikes blows plentifully on the terrified (bystanders). For, casting incense into the fire, he again operates after the following method. Covering a lump of what are called fossil salts with Etruscan wax, and dividing the piece itself of incense into two parts, he throws in a grain of salt; and again joining (the piece) together, and placing it on the burning coals, he leaves it there. And when this is consumed, the salts, bounding upwards, create the impression of, as it were, a strange vision taking place. And the dark-blue dye which has been deposited in the incense produces a blood-red flame, as we have already declared. But (the sorcerer) makes a scarlet liquid, by mixing wax with alkanet, and, as I said, depositing the wax in the incense. And he makes the coals be moved, placing underneath powdered alum; and when this is dissolved and swells up like bubbles, the coals are moved. 4.34. After, then, we have succinctly explained the powers of the secret arts practised among these (magicians), and have shown their easy plan for the acquisition of knowledge, neither are we disposed to be silent on the following point, which is a necessary one - how that, loosing the seals, they restore the sealed letters, with the actual seals themselves. Melting pitch, resin, and sulphur, and moreover asphalt, in equal parts, (and) forming the ointment into a figure, they keep it by them. When, however, it is time to loose a small tablet, smearing with oil their tongue, next with the latter anointing the seal, (and) heating the drug with a moderate fire, (the sorcerers) place it upon the seal; and they leave it there until it has acquired complete consistence, and they use it in this condition as a seal. But they say, likewise, that wax itself with fir-wood gum possesses a similar potency, as well as two parts of mastich with one part of dry asphalt. But sulphur also by itself effects the purpose tolerably well, and flower of gypsum strained with water, and of gum. Now this (last mixture) certainly answers most admirably also for sealing molten lead. And that which is accomplished by the Tuscan wax, and refuse of resin, and pitch, and asphalt, and mastich, and powdered spar, all being boiled together in equal parts, is superior to the rest of the drugs which I have mentioned, while that which is effected by the gum is not inferior. In this manner, then, also, they attempt to loose the seals, endeavouring to learn the letters written within. These contrivances, however, I hesitated to narrate in this book, perceiving the danger lest, perchance, any knavish person, taking occasion (from my account), should attempt (to practise these juggleries). Solicitude, however, for many young persons, who could be preserved from such practices, has persuaded me to teach and publish, for security's sake, (the foregoing statements). For although one person may make use of these for gaining instruction in evil, in this way somebody else will, by being instructed (in these practices), be preserved from them. And the magicians themselves, corrupters of life, will be ashamed in plying their art. And learning these points that have been previously elucidated by us, they will possibly be restrained from their folly. But that this seal may not be broken, let me seal it with hog's lard and hair mixed with wax. 4.37. And they make moon and stars appear on the ceiling after this manner. In the central part of the ceiling, having fastened a mirror, placing a dish full of water equally (with the mirror) in the central portion of the floor, and setting in a central place likewise a candle, emitting a faint light from a higher position than the dish - in this way, by reflection, (the magician) causes the moon to appear by the mirror. But frequently, also, they suspend on high from the ceiling, at a distance, a drum, but which, being covered with some garment, is concealed by the accomplice, in order that (the heavenly body) may not appear before the (proper) time. And afterwards placing a candle (within the drum), when the magician gives the signal to the accomplice, he removes so much of the covering as may be sufficient for effecting an imitation representing the figure of the moon as it is at that particular time. He smears, however, the luminous parts of the drum with cinnabar and gum; and having pared around the neck and bottom of a flagon of glass ready behind, he puts a candle in it, and places around it some of the requisite contrivances for making the figures shine, which some one of the accomplices has concealed on high; and on receiving the signal, he throws down from above the contrivances, so to make the moon appear descending from the sky. And the same result is achieved by means of a jar in sylvan localities. For it is by means of a jar that the tricks in a house are performed. For having set up an altar, subsequently is (placed upon it) the jar, having a lighted lamp; when, however, there are a greater number of lamps, no such sight is displayed. After then the enchanter invokes the moon, he orders all the lights to be extinguished, yet that one be left faintly burning; and then the light, that which streams from the jar, is reflected on the ceiling, and furnishes to those present a representation of the moon; the mouth of the jar being kept covered for the time which it would seem to require, in order that the representation of full moon should be exhibited on the ceiling. 4.38. But the scales of fishes - for instance, the seahorse - cause the stars to appear to be; the scales being steeped in a mixture of water and gum, and fastened on the ceiling at intervals. 4.39. The sensation of an earthquake they cause in such a way, as that all things seem set in motion; ordure of a weasel burned with a magnet upon coals (has this effect).
13. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 5.24.6 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

5.24.6. All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aktiōphis Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
alexander of abonoteichos Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
anicetus Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6
anti- martyrdom, gnostics as Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
apocryphon of john Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
asia minor, christianity in Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
baptism Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
blasphemy, heresy as Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 189
canon and criterion of truth Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
carthage, and montanism/new prophecy Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
catholic church Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
charisma and truth Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
christianity Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
cicero Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
comedy Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
cult of saints, dating of Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
divination Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
easter controversy Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6
edessa Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (2012) 183
euripides Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
gnosticism, distinction from other heresies Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 555
gnosticism, succession and schools within Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
greek magical papyri, xiii, xv Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
heresy, division/multiplicity of Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
hippolytus Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
irenaeus, heresiological innovations Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177, 189
law, the, and gospel Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
lucian Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
lyons Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6
montanism Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6
moon Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
new testament Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 189
origen, distinctions between heresies and their taxonomy Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 555
orthodoxy, unity of Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 555
participation Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
polycarp Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6
prophet Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
quartodecimans Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6
rule Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
rule of truth Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
simon of samaria Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
snakes Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198
spirit Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
stoicism Edmonds, Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World (2019) 198; Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
succession, heretical succession Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
tatian Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
tradition Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
truth' Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 146
valentinians Boulluec, The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries (2022) 177
victor Osborne, Irenaeus of Lyons (2001) 6