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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7336
Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 1.11


nanWho, then, is so senseless as to imagine that he reigns in heaven who ought not even to have reigned on earth? It was not without humour that a certain poet wrote of the triumph of Cupid: in which book he not only represented Cupid as the most powerful of the gods, but also as their conqueror. For having enumerated the loves of each, by which they had come into the power and dominion of Cupid, he sets in array a procession, in which Jupiter, with the other gods, is led in chains before the chariot of him, celebrating a triumph. This is elegantly pictured by the poet, but it is not far removed from the truth. For he who is without virtue, who is overpowered by desire and wicked lusts, is not, as the poet feigned, in subjection to Cupid, but to everlasting death. But let us cease to speak concerning morals; let us examine the matter, in order that men may understand in what errors they are miserably engaged. The common people imagine that Jupiter reigns in heaven; both learned and unlearned are alike persuaded of this. For both religion itself, and prayers, and hymns, and shrines, and images demonstrate this. And yet they admit that he was also descended from Saturn and Rhea. How can he appear a god, or be believed, as the poet says, to be the author of men and all things, when innumerable thousands of men existed before his birth - those, for instance, who lived during the reign of Saturn, and enjoyed the light sooner than Jupiter? I see that one god was king in the earliest times, and another in the times that followed. It is therefore possible that there may be another hereafter. For if the former kingdom was changed, why should we not expect that the latter may possibly be changed, unless by chance it was possible for Saturn to produce one more powerful than himself, but impossible for Jupiter so to do? And yet the divine government is always unchangeable; or if it is changeable, which is an impossibility, it is undoubtedly changeable at all times. Is it possible, then, for Jupiter to lose his kingdom as his father lost it? It is so undoubtedly. For when that deity had spared neither virgins nor married women, he abstained from Thetis only in consequence of an oracle which foretold that whatever son should be born from her would be greater than his father. And first of all there was in him a want of foreknowledge not befitting a god; for had not Themis related to him future events, he would not have known them of his own accord. But if he is not divine, he is not indeed a god; for the name of divinity is derived from god, as humanity is from man. Then there was a consciousness of weakness; but he who has feared, must plainly have feared one greater than himself. But he who does this assuredly knows that he is not the greatest, since something greater can exist. He also swears most solemnly by the Stygian marsh: Which is set forth the sole object of religious dread to the gods above. What is this object of religious dread? Or by whom is it set forth? Is there, then, some mighty power which may punish the gods who commit perjury? What is this great dread of the infernal marsh, if they are immortal? Why should they fear that which none are about to see, except those who are bound by the necessity of death? Why, then, do men raise their eyes to the heaven? Why do they swear by the gods above, when the gods above themselves have recourse to the infernal gods, and find among them an object of veneration and worship? But what is the meaning of that saying, that there are fates whom all the gods and Jupiter himself obey? If the power of the Parc is so great, that they are of more avail than all the heavenly gods, and their ruler and lord himself, why should not they be rather said to reign, since necessity compels all the gods to obey their laws and ordinances? Now, who can entertain a doubt that he who is subservient to anything cannot be greatest? For if he were so, he would not receive fates, but would appoint them. Now I return to another subject which I had omitted. In the case of one goddess only he exercised self-restraint, though he was deeply enamoured of her; but this was not from any virtue, but through fear of a successor. But this fear plainly denotes one who is both mortal and feeble, and of no weight: for at the very hour of his birth he might have been put to death, as his elder brother had been put to death; and if it had been possible for him to have lived, he would never have given up the supreme power to a younger brother. But Jupiter himself having been preserved by stealth, and stealthily nourished, was called Zeus, or Zen, not, as they imagine, from the fervor of heavenly fire, or because he is the giver of life, or because he breathes life into living creatures, which power belongs to God alone; for how can he impart the breath of life who has himself received it from another source? But he was so called because he was the first who lived of the male children of Saturn. Men, therefore, might have had another god as their ruler, if Saturn had not been deceived by his wife. But it will be said the poets feigned these things. Whoever entertains this opinion is in error. For they spoke respecting men; but in order that they might embellish those whose memory they used to celebrate with praises, they said that they were gods. Those things, therefore, which they spoke concerning them as gods were feigned, and not those which they spoke concerning them as men; and this will be manifest from an instance which we will bring forward. When about to offer violence to Danae, he poured into her lap a great quantity of golden coins. This was the price which he paid for her dishonour. But the poets who spoke about him as a god, that they might not weaken the authority of his supposed majesty, feigned that he himself descended in a shower of gold, making use of the same figure with which they speak of showers of iron when they describe a multitude of darts and arrows. He is said to have carried away Ganymede by an eagle; it is a picture of the poets. But he either carried him off by a legion, which has an eagle for its standard; or the ship on board of which he was placed had its tutelary deity in the shape of an eagle, just as it had the effigy of a bull when he seized Europa and conveyed her across the sea. In the same manner, it is related that he changed Io, the daughter of Inachus, into a heifer. And in order that she might escape the anger of Juno, just as she was, now covered with bristly hair, and in the shape of a heifer, she is said to have swam over the sea, and to have come into Egypt; and there, having recovered her former appearance, she became the goddess who is now called Isis. By what argument, then, can it be proved that Europa did not sit on the bull, and that Io was not changed into a heifer? Because there is a fixed day in the annals on which the voyage of Isis is celebrated; from which fact we learn that she did not swim across the sea, but sailed over. Therefore they who appear to themselves to be wise because they understand that there cannot be a living and earthly body in heaven, reject the whole story of Ganymede as false, and perceive that the occurrence took place on earth, inasmuch as the matter and the lust itself is earthly. The poets did not therefore invent these transactions, for if they were to do so they would be most worthless; but they added a certain color to the transactions. For it was not for the purpose of detraction that they said these things, but from a desire to embellish them. Hence men are deceived; especially because, while they think that all these things are feigned by the poets, they worship that of which they are ignorant. For they do not know what is the limit of poetic licence, how far it is allowable to proceed in fiction, since it is the business of the poet with some gracefulness to change and transfer actual occurrences into other representations by oblique transformations. But to feign the whole of that which you relate, that is to be foolish and deceitful rather than to be a poet. But grant that they feigned those things which are believed to be fabulous, did they also feign those things which are related about the female deities and the marriages of the gods? Why, then, are they so represented, and so worshipped? Unless by chance not the poets only, but painters also, and statuaries, speak falsehoods. For if this is the Jupiter who is called by you a god, if it is not he who was born from Saturn and Ops, no other image but his alone ought to have been placed in all the temples. What meaning have the effigies of women? What the doubtful sex? In which, if this Jupiter is represented, the very stones will confess that he is a man. They say that the poets have spoken falsely, and yet they believe them: yes, truly they prove by the fact itself that the poets did not speak falsely; for they so frame the images of the gods, that, from the very diversity of sex, it appears that these things which the poets say are true. For what other conclusion does the image of Ganymede and the effigy of the eagle admit of, when they are placed before the feet of Jupiter in the temples, and are worshipped equally with himself, except that the memory of impious guilt and debauchery remains for ever? Nothing, therefore, is wholly invented by the poets: something perhaps is transferred and obscured by oblique fashioning, under which the truth was enwrapped and concealed; as that which was related about the dividing of the kingdoms by lot. For they say that the heaven fell to the share of Jupiter, the sea to Neptune, and the infernal regions to Pluto. Why was not the earth rather taken as the third portion, except that the transaction took place on the earth? Therefore it is true that they so divided and portioned out the government of the world, that the empire of the east fell to Jupiter, a part of the west was allotted to Pluto, who had the surname of Agesilaus; because the region of the east, from which light is given to mortals, seems to be higher, but the region of the west lower. Thus they so veiled the truth under a fiction, that the truth itself detracted nothing from the public persuasion. It is manifest concerning the share of Neptune; for we say that his kingdom resembled that unlimited authority possessed by Mark Antony, to whom the senate had decreed the power of the maritime coast, that he might punish the pirates, and tranquillize the whole sea. Thus all the maritime coasts, together with the islands, fell to the lot of Neptune. How can this be proved? Undoubtedly ancient stories attest it. Euhemerus, an ancient author, who was of the city of Messene, collected the actions of Jupiter and of the others, who are esteemed gods, and composed a history from the titles and sacred inscriptions which were in the most ancient temples, and especially in the sanctuary of the Triphylian Jupiter, where an inscription indicated that a golden column had been placed by Jupiter himself, on which column he wrote an account of his exploits, that posterity might have a memorial of his actions. This history was translated and followed by Ennius, whose words are these: Where Jupiter gives to Neptune the government of the sea, that he might reign in all the islands and places bordering on the sea. The accounts of the poets, therefore, are true, but veiled with an outward covering and show. It is possible that Mount Olympus may have supplied the poets with the hint for saying that Jupiter obtained the kingdom of heaven, because Olympus is the common name both of the mountain and of heaven. But the same history informs us that Jupiter dwelt on Mount Olympus, when it says: At that time Jupiter spent the greatest part of his life on Mount Olympus; and they used to resort to him there for the administration of justice, if any matters were disputed. Moreover, if any one had found out any new invention which might be useful for human life, he used to come there and display it to Jupiter. The poets transfer many things after this manner, not for the sake of speaking falsely against the objects of their worship, but that they may by variously colored figures add beauty and grace to their poems. But they who do not understand the manner, or the cause, or the nature of that which is represented by figure, attack the poets as false and sacrilegious. Even the philosophers were deceived by this error; for because these things which are related about Jupiter appeared unsuited to the character of a god, they introduced two Jupiters, one natural, the other fabulous. They saw, on the one hand, that which was true, that he, forsooth, concerning whom the poets speak, was man; but in the case of that natural Jupiter, led by the common practise of superstition, they committed an error, inasmuch as they transferred the name of a man to God, who, as we have already said, because He is one only, has no need of a name. But it is undeniable that he is Jupiter who was born from Ops and Saturn. It is therefore an empty persuasion on the part of those who give the name of Jupiter to the Supreme God. For some are in the habit of defending their errors by this excuse; for, when convinced of the unity of God, since they cannot deny this, they affirm that they worship Him, but that it is their pleasure that He should be called Jupiter. But what can be more absurd than this? For Jupiter is not accustomed to be worshipped without the accompanying worship of his wife and daughter. From which his real nature is evident; nor is it lawful for that name to be transferred there, where there is neither any Minerva nor Juno. Why should I say that the peculiar meaning of this name does not express a divine, but human power? For Cicero explains the names Jupiter and Juno as being derived from giving help; and Jupiter is so called as if he were a helping father - a name which is ill adapted to God: for to help is the part of a man conferring some aid upon one who is a stranger, and in a case where the benefit is small. No one implores God to help him, but to preserve him, to give him life and safety, which is a much greater and more important matter than to help. And since we are speaking of a father, no father is said to help his sons when he begets or brings them up. For that expression is too insignificant to denote the magnitude of the benefit derived from a father. How much more unsuitable is it to God, who is our true Father, by whom we exist, and whose we are altogether, by whom we are formed, endued with life, and enlightened, who bestows upon us life, gives us safety, and supplies us with various kinds of food! He has no apprehension of the divine benefits who thinks that he is only aided by God. Therefore he is not only ignorant, but impious, who disparages the excellency of the supreme power under the name of Jupiter. Wherefore, if both from his actions and character we have proved that Jupiter was a man, and reigned on earth, it only remains that we should also investigate his death. Ennius, in his sacred history, having described all the actions which he performed in his life, at the close thus speaks: Then Jupiter, when he had five times made a circuit of the earth, and bestowed governments upon all his friends and relatives, and left laws to men, provided them with a settled mode of life and grain, and given them many other benefits, and having been honoured with immortal glory and remembrance, left lasting memorials to his friends, and when his age was almost spent, he changed his life in Crete, and departed to the gods. And the Curetes, his sons, took charge of him, and honoured him; and his tomb is in Crete, in the town of Cnossus, and Vesta is said to have founded this city; and on his tomb is an inscription in ancient Greek characters, Zan Kronou, which is in Latin, Jupiter the son of Saturn. This undoubtedly is not handed down by poets, but by writers of ancient events; and these things are so true, that they are confirmed by some verses of the Sibyls, to this effect:- Inanimate demons, images of the dead, Whose tombs the ill-fated Crete possesses as a boast.Cicero, in his treatise concerning the Nature of the Gods, having said that three Jupiters were enumerated by theologians, adds that the third was of Crete, the son of Saturn, and that his tomb is shown in that island. How, therefore, can a god be alive in one place, and dead in another; in one place have a temple, and in another a tomb? Let the Romans then know that their Capitol, that is the chief head of their objects of public veneration, is nothing but an empty monument. Let us now come to his father who reigned before him, and who perhaps had more power in himself, because he is said to be born from the meeting of such great elements. Let us see what there was in him worthy of a god, especially that he is related to have had the golden age, because in his reign there was justice in the earth. I find something in him which was not in his son. For what is so befitting the character of a god, as a just government and an age of piety? But when, on the same principle, I reflect that he is a son, I cannot consider him as the Supreme God; for I see that there is something more ancient than himself - namely, the heaven and the earth. But I am in search of a God beyond whom nothing has any existence, who is the source and origin of all things. He must of necessity exist who framed the heaven itself, and laid the foundations of the earth. But if Saturn was born from these, as it is supposed, how can he be the chief God, since he owes his origin to another? Or who presided over the universe before the birth of Saturn? But this, as I recently said, is a fiction of the poets. For it was impossible that the senseless elements, which are separated by so long an interval, should meet together and give birth to a son, or that he who was born should not at all resemble his parents, but should have a form which his parents did not possess. Let us therefore inquire what degree of truth lies hid under this figure. Minucius Felix, in his treatise which has the title of Octavius, alleged these proofs: That Saturn, when he had been banished by his son, and had come into Italy, was called the son of Cœlus (heaven), because we are accustomed to say that those whose virtue we admire, or those who have unexpectedly arrived, have fallen from heaven; and that he was called the son of earth, because we name those who are born from unknown parents sons of earth. These things, indeed, have some resemblance to the truth, but are not true, because it is evident that even during his reign he was so esteemed. He might have argued thus: That Saturn, being a very powerful king, in order that the memory of his parents might be preserved, gave their names to the heaven and earth, whereas these were before called by other names, for which reason we know that names were applied both to mountains and rivers. For when the poets speak of the offspring of Atlas, or of the river Inachus, they do not absolutely say that men could possibly be born from inanimate objects; but they undoubtedly indicate those who were born from those men, who either during their lives or after their death gave their names to mountains or rivers. For that was a common practise among the ancients, and especially among the Greeks. Thus we have heard that seas received the names of those who had fallen into them, as the Ægean, the Icarian, and the Hellespont. In Latium, also, Aventinus gave his name to the mountain on which he was buried; and Tiberinus, or Tiber, gave his name to the river in which he was drowned. No wonder, then, if the names of those who had given birth to most powerful kings were attributed to the heaven and earth. Therefore it appears that Saturn was not born from heaven, which is impossible, but from that man who bore the name of Uranus. And Trismegistus attests the truth of this; for when he said that very few had existed in whom there was perfect learning, he mentioned by name among these his relatives, Uranus, Saturn, and Mercury. And because he was ignorant of these things, he gave another account of the matter; how he might have argued, I have shown. Now I will say in what manner, at what time, and by whom this was done; for it was not Saturn who did this, but Jupiter. Ennius thus relates in his sacred history: Then Pan leads him to the mountain, which is called the pillar of heaven. Having ascended there, he surveyed the lands far and wide, and there on that mountain he builds an altar to Cœlus; and Jupiter was the first who offered sacrifice on that altar. In that place he looked up to heaven, by which name we now call it, and that which was above the world which was called the firmament, and he gave to the heaven its name from the name of his grandfather; and Jupiter in prayer first gave the name of heaven to that which was called firmament, and he burnt entire the victim which he there offered in sacrifice. Nor is it here only that Jupiter is found to have offered sacrifice. C sar also, in Aratus, relates that Aglaosthenes says that when he was setting out from the island of Naxos against the Titans, and was offering sacrifice on the shore, an eagle flew to Jupiter as an omen, and that the victor received it as a good token, and placed it under his own protection. But the sacred history testifies that even beforehand an eagle had sat upon his head, and portended to him the kingdom. To whom, then, could Jupiter have offered sacrifice, except to his grandfather Cœlus, who, according to the saying of Euhemerus, died in Oceania, and was buried in the town of Aulatia?


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

4 results
1. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.119, 3.45 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.119. Or those who teach that brave or famous or powerful men have been deified after death, and that it is these who are the real objects of the worship, prayers and adoration which we are accustomed to offer — are not they entirely devoid of all sense of religion? This theory was chiefly developed by Euhemerus, who was translated and imitated especially by our poet Ennius. Yet Euhemerus describes the death and burial of certain gods; are we then to think of him as upholding religion, or rather as utterly and entirely destroying it? I say nothing of the holy and awe‑inspiring sanctuary of Eleusis, Where tribes from earth's remotest confines seek Initiation, and I pass over Samothrace and those occult mysteries Which throngs of worshippers at dead of night In forest coverts deep do celebrate at Lemnos, since such mysteries when interpreted and rationalized prove to have more to do with natural science than with theology. 3.45. Again, if you call Apollo, Vulcan, Mercury and the rest gods, will you have doubts about Hercules, Aesculapius, Liber, Castor and Pollux? But these are worshipped just as much as those, and indeed in some places very much more than they. Are we then to deem these gods, the sons of mortal mothers? Well then, will not Aristaeus, the reputed discoverer of the olive, who was the son of Apollo, Theseus the son of Neptune, and all the other sons of gods, also be reckoned as gods? What about the sons of goddesses? I think they have an even better claim; for just as by the civil law one whose mother is a freewoman is a Freeman, so by the law of nature one whose mother is a goddess must be a god. And in the island of Astypalaea Achilles is most devoutly worshipped by the inhabitants on these grounds; but if Achilles is a god, so are Orpheus and Rhesus, whose mother was a Muse, unless perhaps a marriage at the bottom of the sea counts higher than a marriage on dry land! If these are not gods, because they are nowhere worshipped, how can the others be gods?
2. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 6.1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6.1. 1.  The foregoing is told by Diodorus in the Third Book of his history. And the same writer, in the sixth Book as well, confirms the same view regarding the gods, drawing from the writing of Euhemerus of Messenê, and using the following words:,2.  "As regards the gods, then, men of ancient times have handed down to later generations two different conceptions: Certain of the gods, they say, are eternal and imperishable, such as the sun and moon and the other stars of the heavens, and the winds as well and whatever else possesses a nature similar to theirs; for of each of these the genesis and duration are from everlasting to everlasting. But the other gods, we are told, were terrestrial beings who attained to immortal honour and fame because of their benefactions to mankind, such as Heracles, Dionysus, Aristaeus, and the others who were like them.,3.  Regarding these terrestrial gods many and varying accounts have been handed down by the writers of history and mythology; of the historians, Euhemerus, who composed the Sacred History, has written a special treatise about them, while, of the writers of myths, Homer and Hesiod and Orpheus and the others of their kind have invented rather monstrous stories about the gods. But for our part, we shall endeavour to run over briefly the accounts which both groups of writers have given, aiming at due proportion in our exposition.,4.  "Now Euhemerus, who was a friend of King Cassander and was required by him to perform certain affairs of state and to make great journeys abroad, says that he travelled southward as far as the ocean; for setting sail from Arabia the Blest he voyaged through the ocean for a considerable number of days and was carried to the shore of some islands in the sea, one of which bore the name of Panchaea. On this island he saw the Panchaeans who dwell there, who excel in piety and honour the gods with the most magnificent sacrifices and with remarkable votive offerings of silver and of gold.,5.  The island is sacred to the gods, and there are a number of other objects on it which are admired both for their antiquity and for the great skill of their workmanship, regarding which severally we have written in the preceding Books.,6.  There is also on the island, situated upon an exceedingly high hill, a sanctuary of Zeus Triphylius, which was established by him during the time when he was king of all the inhabited world and was still in the company of men.,7.  And in this temple there is a stele of gold on which is inscribed in summary, in the writing employed by the Panchaeans, the deeds of Uranus and Cronus and Zeus.,8.  "Euhemerus goes on to say that Uranus was the first to be king, that he was an honourable man and beneficent, who was versed in the movement of the stars, and that he was also the first to honour the gods of the heavens with sacrifices, whence he was called Uranus or "Heaven.",9.  There were born to him by his wife Hestia two sons, Titan and Cronus, and two daughters, Rhea and Demeter. Cronus became king after Uranus, and marrying Rhea he begat Zeus and Hera and Poseidon. And Zeus, on succeeding to the kingship, married Hera and Demeter and Themis, and by them he had children, the Curetes by the first named, Persephonê by the second, and Athena by the third.,10.  And going to Babylon he was entertained by Belus, and after that he went to the island of Panchaea, which lies in the ocean, and here he set up an altar to Uranus, the founder of his family. From there he passed through Syria and came to Casius, who was ruler of Syria at that time, and who gave his name to Mt. Casius. And coming to Cilicia he conquered in battle Cilix, the governor of the region, and he visited very many other nations, all of which paid honour to him and publicly proclaimed him a god.",11.  After recounting what I have given and more to the same effect about the gods, as if about mortal men, Diodorus goes on to say: "Now regarding Euhemerus, who composed the Sacred History, we shall rest content with what has been said, and shall endeavour to run over briefly the myths which the Greeks recount concerning the gods, as they are given by Hesiod and Homer and Orpheus." Thereupon Diodorus goes on to add the myths as the poets give them.
3. Ovid, Fasti, 3.771-3.778 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3.771. of manhood, is given to boys on your day, Bacchus: 3.772. Whether it’s because you seem to be ever boy or youth 3.773. And your age is somewhere between the two: 3.774. Or because you’re a father, fathers commend their sons 3.775. Their pledges of love, to your care and divinity: 3.776. Or because you’re Liber, the gown of liberty 3.777. And a more liberated life are adopted, for you: 3.778. Or is it because, in the days when the ancients tilled the field
4. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 28 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

28. But it is perhaps necessary, in accordance with what has already been adduced, to say a little about their names. Herodotus, then, and Alexander the son of Philip, in his letter to his mother (and each of them is said to have conversed with the priests at Heliopolis, and Memphis, and Thebes), affirm that they learned from them that the gods had been men. Herodotus speaks thus: of such a nature were, they said, the beings represented by these images, they were very far indeed from being gods. However, in the times anterior to them it was otherwise; then Egypt had gods for its rulers, who dwelt upon the earth with men, one being always supreme above the rest. The last of these was Horus the son of Osiris, called by the Greeks Apollo. He deposed Typhon, and ruled over Egypt as its last god-king. Osiris is named Dionysus (Bacchus) by the Greeks. Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt. Apollo was the son of Dionysus and Isis, as Herodotus likewise affirms: According to the Egyptians, Apollo and Diana are the children of Bacchus and Isis; while Latona is their nurse and their preserver. These beings of heavenly origin they had for their first kings: partly from ignorance of the true worship of the Deity, partly from gratitude for their government, they esteemed them as gods together with their wives. The male cattle, if clean, and the male calves, are used for sacrifice by the Egyptians universally; but the females, they are not allowed to sacrifice, since they are sacred to Isis. The statue of this goddess has the form of a woman but with horns like a cow, resembling those of the Greek representations of Io. And who can be more deserving of credit in making these statements, than those who in family succession son from father, received not only the priesthood, but also the history? For it is not likely that the priests, who make it their business to commend the idols to men's reverence, would assert falsely that they were men. If Herodotus alone had said that the Egyptians spoke in their histories of the gods as of men, when he says, What they told me concerning their religion it is not my intention to repeat, except only the names of their deities, things of very trifling importance, it would behoove us not to credit even Herodotus as being a fabulist. But as Alexander and Hermes surnamed Trismegistus, who shares with them in the attribute of eternity, and innumerable others, not to name them individually, [declare the same], no room is left even for doubt that they, being kings, were esteemed gods. That they were men, the most learned of the Egyptians also testify, who, while saying that ether, earth, sun, moon, are gods, regard the rest as mortal men, and the temples as their sepulchres. Apollodorus, too, asserts the same thing in his treatise concerning the gods. But Herodotus calls even their sufferings mysteries. The ceremonies at the feast of Isis in the city of Busiris have been already spoken of. It is there that the whole multitude, both of men and women, many thousands in number, beat themselves at the close of the sacrifice in honour of a god whose name a religious scruple forbids me to mention. If they are gods, they are also immortal; but if people are beaten for them, and their sufferings are mysteries, they are men, as Herodotus himself says: Here, too, in this same precinct of Minerva at Saïs, is the burial-place of one whom I think it not right to mention in such a connection. It stands behind the temple against the back wall, which it entirely covers. There are also some large stone obelisks in the enclosure, and there is a lake near them, adorned with an edging of stone. In form it is circular, and in size, as it seemed to me, about equal to the lake at Delos called the Hoop. On this lake it is that the Egyptians represent by night his sufferings whose name I refrain from mentioning, and this representation they call their mysteries. And not only is the sepulchre of Osiris shown, but also his embalming: When a body is brought to them, they show the bearer various models of corpses made in wood, and painted so as to resemble nature. The most perfect is said to be after the manner of him whom I do not think it religious to name in connection with such a matter.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aesculapius Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
apollo/apulu Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
beard Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
cicero Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
crete Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 163
dioscuri Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
ennius Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
epicharmus Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 8
euhemerus Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 163
gods; are dead people' Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 27
heracles/hercules Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
janus Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
jupiter Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 8
kronos Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 163
lactantius Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
mars Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
neptune Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
ouranos Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 163
ovid Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
quirinus Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
romulus Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
saturn; established in italy Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 27
saturn; presides over the treasury Sider, Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian (2001) 27
saturn Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
soul Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 8
titan/titanomachy Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 163
toga libera Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
translation Gorain, Language in the Confessions of Augustine (2019) 93
zeus Bacchi, Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics (2022) 163; Konstan and Garani, The Philosophizing Muse: The Influence of Greek Philosophy on Roman Poetry (2014) 8