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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7574
Lucretius Carus, On The Nature Of Things, 5.22-5.51
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

18 results
1. Homer, Odyssey, 11.601-11.605 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

2. Herodotus, Histories, 5.8-5.9 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

5.8. The wealthy have the following funeral practices. First they lay out the dead for three days, and after killing all kinds of victims and making lamentation, they feast. After that they do away with the body either by fire or else by burial in the earth, and when they have built a barrow, they initiate all kinds of contests, in which the greatest prizes are offered for the hardest type of single combat. Such are the Thracian funeral rites. 5.9. As for the region which lies north of this country, none can tell with certainty what men dwell there, but what lies beyond the Ister is a desolate and infinitely large tract of land. I can learn of no men dwelling beyond the Ister save certain that are called Sigynnae and wear Median dress. ,Their horses are said to be covered all over with shaggy hair five fingers' breadth long, and to be small, blunt-nosed, and unable to bear men on their backs, but very swift when yoked to chariots. It is for this reason that driving chariots is the usage of the country. These men's borders, it is said, reach almost as far as the Eneti on the Adriatic Sea. ,They call themselves colonists from Media. How this has come about I myself cannot understand, but all is possible in the long passage of time. However that may be, we know that the Ligyes who dwell inland of Massalia use the word “sigynnae” for hucksters, and the Cyprians use it for spears.
3. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

27d. ourselves we must also invoke so to proceed, that you may most easily learn and I may most clearly expound my views regarding the subject before us. Tim.
4. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.43, 2.62 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.43. With the errors of the poets may be classed the monstrous doctrines of the magi and the insane mythology of Egypt, and also the popular beliefs, which are a mere mass of inconsistencies sprung from ignorance. "Anyone pondering on the baseless and irrational character of these doctrines ought to regard Epicurus with reverence, and to rank him as one of the very gods about whom we are inquiring. For he alone perceived, first, that the gods exist, because nature herself has imprinted a conception of them on the minds of all mankind. For what nation or what tribe is there but possesses untaught some 'preconception' of the gods? Such notions Epicurus designates by the word prolepsis, that is, a sort of preconceived mental picture of a thing, without which nothing can be understood or investigated or discussed. The force and value of this argument we learn in that work of genius, Epicurus's Rule or Standard of Judgement. 2.62. Those gods therefore who were the authors of various benefits owned their deification to the value of the benefits which they bestowed, and indeed the names that I just now enumerated express the various powers of the gods that bear them. "Human experience moreover and general custom have made it a practice to confer the deification of renown and gratitude upon of distinguished benefactors. This is the origin of Hercules, of Castor and Pollux, of Aesculapius, and also of Liber (I mean Liber the son of Semele, not the Liber whom our ancestors solemnly and devoutly consecrated with Ceres and Libera, the import of which joint consecration may be gathered from the mysteries; but Liber and Libera were so named as Ceres' offspring, that being the meaning of our Latin word liberi — a use which has survived in the case of Libera but not of Liber) — and this is also the origin of Romulus, who is believed to be the same as Quirinus. And these benefactors were duly deemed divine, as being both supremely good and immortal, because their souls survived and enjoyed eternal life.
5. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 1.48 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.48. quae quidem quidem culidem R 1 cogitans soleo solo R 1 saepe mirari non nullorum insolentiam philosophorum, qui naturae cognitionem admirantur eiusque inventori et principi gratias exultantes insultantes K 1 agunt eumque venerantur ut deum; liberatos enim se per eum dicunt gravissimis dominis, terrore sempiterno et diurno ac nocturno anoct. ( pro ac noct.)R metu. quo terrore? quo metu? quae est anus tam delira quae timeat ista, quae vos videlicet, si physica phisica KR Enn. Andr. aechm. 107 non didicissetis, timeretis, Acherunsia acheru sia V templa alta Orci, pallida leti, nubila letio nubila GK 1 (b post o add. K c )R let o nubila V (leto n. B) tenebris loca ? non pudet philosophum in eo gloriari, quod haec non timeat et quod falsa esse cognoverit? e quo intellegi potest, quam acuti natura sint, quoniam haec sine doctrina credituri fuerunt.
6. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 5.76 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.76. 1.  of Heracles the myths relate that he was sprung from Zeus many years before that Heracles who was born of Alcmenê. As for this son of Zeus, tradition has not given us the name of his mother, but only states that he far excelled all others in vigour of body, and that he visited the inhabited earth, inflicting punishment upon the unjust and destroying the wild beasts which were making the land uninhabitable; for men everywhere he won their freedom, while remaining himself unconquered and unwounded, and because of his good deeds he attained to immortal honour at the hands of mankind.,2.  The Heracles who was born of Alcmenê was very much later, and, since he emulated the plan of life of the ancient Heracles, for the same reasons he attained to immortality, and, as time were on, he was thought by men to be the same as the other Heracles because both bore the same name, and the deeds of the earlier Heracles were transferred to the later one, the majority of men being ignorant of the actual facts. And it is generally agreed that the most renowned deeds and honours which belong to the older god were concerned with Egypt, and that these, together with a city which he founded, are still known in that country.,3.  Britomartis, who is also called Dictynna, the myths relate, was born at Caeno in Crete of Zeus and Carmê, the daughter of Eubulus who was the son of Demeter; she invented the nets (dictya) which are used in hunting, whence she has been called Dictynna, and she passed her time in the company of Artemis, this being the reason why some men think Dictynna and Artemis are one and the same goddess; and the Cretans have instituted sacrifices and built temples in honour of this goddess.,4.  But those men who tell the tale that she has been named Dictynna because she fled into some fishermen's nets when she was pursued by Minos, who would have ravished her, have missed the truth; for it is not a probable story that the goddess should ever have got into so helpless a state that she would have required the aid that men can give, being as she is the daughter of the greatest one of the gods, nor is it right to ascribe such an impious deed to Minos, who tradition uimously declares avowed just principles and strove to attain a manner of life which was approved by men.
7. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 1.40, 1.62-1.79, 1.102-1.135, 1.146-1.214, 1.265-1.448, 2.45-2.46, 3.1-3.30, 3.322, 3.830-3.1094, 5.1-5.21, 5.23-5.54, 5.181-5.186, 5.218-5.221, 5.405-5.406, 5.751-5.770, 6.387-6.422, 6.660, 6.1208-6.1212 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

8. Strabo, Geography, 5.3.2 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.3.2. Beyond Sabina is Latium, wherein the city of Rome is situated. It comprises many places which formed no part of ancient Latium. For the Aequi, the Volsci, the Hernici, the aborigines around Rome, the Rutuli who possessed ancient Ardea, and many other nations, some larger, some smaller, formed so many separate states around Rome, when that city was first built. Some of these nations, who dwelt in villages, were governed by their own laws, and subjected to no common tribe. They say that Aeneas, with his father Anchises and his child Ascanius, arrived at Laurentum, near to Ostia and the bank of the Tiber, where he built a city about 24 stadia above the sea. That Latinus, the king of the aborigines who then dwelt on the site where Rome now stands, employed his forces to aid Aeneas against the neighbouring Rutuli who inhabited Ardea, (now from Ardea to Rome is a distance of 160 stadia,) and having gained a victory, he built near to the spot a city, to which he gave the name of his daughter Lavinia. However, in a second battle, commenced by the Rutuli, Latinus fell, and Aeneas, being conqueror, succeeded this prince on the throne, and conferred on his subjects the name of Latini. After the death both of himself and his father, Ascanius founded Alba, on Mount Albanus, situated about the same distance from Rome as Ardea. Here the Romans and Latini conjointly offer sacrifice to Jupiter. The magistracy all assemble, and during the period of the solemnity the government of the city is intrusted to some distinguished youth. The facts related of Amulius and his brother Numitor, some of which are fictitious, while others approach nearer the truth, occurred four hundred years later. These two brothers, who were descended from Ascanius, succeeded conjointly to the government of Alba, which extended as far as the Tiber. However, Amulius the younger, having expelled the elder, governed [alone]. Numitor had a son and a daughter; the former Amulius treacherously murdered in the chase; the latter, that she might remain childless, he made a priestess of Vesta, thus imposing virginity upon her. This [daughter] they name Rhea Silvia. Afterwards he discovered that she was pregt, and when she had given birth to twins, he, out of respect to his brother, placed her in confinement, instead of putting her to death, and exposed the boys by the Tiber according to a national usage. According to the mythology, Mars was the father of these children, and when they were exposed they were discovered and suckled by a she-wolf. Faustulus, one of the swine-herds of the place, took and reared them up, and named one Romulus, the other Remus. (We must understand that Faustulus, who took them up and nourished them, was an influential man, and a subject of Amulius.) Having arrived at man's estate, they waged war upon Amulius and his sons; and having slain them, restored the government to Numitor. They then returned home and founded Rome, in a locality selected rather through necessity than choice, as the site was neither fortified by nature, nor sufficiently large for a city of importance. In addition to this, the neighbourhood supplied no inhabitants; for those who dwelt around, even though touching the very walls of the newly founded city, kept to themselves, and would have nothing at all to do with the Albani. Collatia, Antemnae, Fidenae, Labicum, and similar places are here alluded to, which then were small cities, but are now villages possessed by private individuals; they are distant from Rome 30 or 40 stadia, or rather more. Between the fifth and sixth mile-stone which marks the distance from Rome there is a place named Festi; this they say was at that time the limit of the Roman territory, and at the present day, both here and in numerous other places which they consider to have been boundaries, the priests offer the sacrifice denominated Ambarvia. They say that, at the time of the foundation [of the city], a dispute arose in which Remus lost his life. The city being built, Romulus assembled men from every quarter, and instituted for an asylum a grove between the citadel and the Capitol, to which whoever fled from the neighbouring states, he proclaimed as Roman citizens. Not having wives for these men, he appointed a horse-race in honour of Neptune, which is celebrated to this day. Numbers [of spectators] having assembled, particularly of the Sabini, he commanded that each of those who were in want of a wife, should carry off one of the assembled maidens. Titus Tatius, king of the Quirites, took up arms to avenge the insult, but made peace with Romulus on condition that their kingdoms should be united, and that they should divide the sovereignty between them. Tatius, however, was treacherously assassinated in Lavinium, upon which Romulus, with the consent of the Quirites, reigned alone. After him Numa Pompilius, formerly a subject of Tatius, assumed the government, by the general desire of the people. Such is the most authentic account of the foundation of Rome.
9. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 19.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 5.25-5.26, 10.15 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Lucian, Parliament of The Gods, 6, 4 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. Lucian, Zeus Rants, 32 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. Tertullian, To The Heathen, 2.14 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

14. Tertullian, Apology, 2.3 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

15. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 1.16, 10.31-10.34, 10.63, 10.122-10.135 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10.31. They reject dialectic as superfluous; holding that in their inquiries the physicists should be content to employ the ordinary terms for things. Now in The Canon Epicurus affirms that our sensations and preconceptions and our feelings are the standards of truth; the Epicureans generally make perceptions of mental presentations to be also standards. His own statements are also to be found in the Summary addressed to Herodotus and in the Sovran Maxims. Every sensation, he says, is devoid of reason and incapable of memory; for neither is it self-caused nor, regarded as having an external cause, can it add anything thereto or take anything therefrom. 10.32. Nor is there anything which can refute sensations or convict them of error: one sensation cannot convict another and kindred sensation, for they are equally valid; nor can one sensation refute another which is not kindred but heterogeneous, for the objects which the two senses judge are not the same; nor again can reason refute them, for reason is wholly dependent on sensation; nor can one sense refute another, since we pay equal heed to all. And the reality of separate perceptions guarantees the truth of our senses. But seeing and hearing are just as real as feeling pain. Hence it is from plain facts that we must start when we draw inferences about the unknown. For all our notions are derived from perceptions, either by actual contact or by analogy, or resemblance, or composition, with some slight aid from reasoning. And the objects presented to mad-men and to people in dreams are true, for they produce effects – i.e. movements in the mind – which that which is unreal never does. 10.33. By preconception they mean a sort of apprehension or a right opinion or notion, or universal idea stored in the mind; that is, a recollection of an external object often presented, e.g. Such and such a thing is a man: for no sooner is the word man uttered than we think of his shape by an act of preconception, in which the senses take the lead. Thus the object primarily denoted by every term is then plain and clear. And we should never have started an investigation, unless we had known what it was that we were in search of. For example: The object standing yonder is a horse or a cow. Before making this judgement, we must at some time or other have known by preconception the shape of a horse or a cow. We should not have given anything a name, if we had not first learnt its form by way of preconception. It follows, then, that preconceptions are clear. The object of a judgement is derived from something previously clear, by reference to which we frame the proposition, e.g. How do we know that this is a man? 10.34. Opinion they also call conception or assumption, and declare it to be true and false; for it is true if it is subsequently confirmed or if it is not contradicted by evidence, and false if it is not subsequently confirmed or is contradicted by evidence. Hence the introduction of the phrase, that which awaits confirmation, e.g. to wait and get close to the tower and then learn what it looks like at close quarters.They affirm that there are two states of feeling, pleasure and pain, which arise in every animate being, and that the one is favourable and the other hostile to that being, and by their means choice and avoidance are determined; and that there are two kinds of inquiry, the one concerned with things, the other with nothing but words. So much, then, for his division and criterion in their main outline.But we must return to the letter.Epicurus to Herodotus, greeting. 10.63. Next, keeping in view our perceptions and feelings (for so shall we have the surest grounds for belief), we must recognize generally that the soul is a corporeal thing, composed of fine particles, dispersed all over the frame, most nearly resembling wind with an admixture of heat, in some respects like wind, in others like heat. But, again, there is the third part which exceeds the other two in the fineness of its particles and thereby keeps in closer touch with the rest of the frame. And this is shown by the mental faculties and feelings, by the ease with which the mind moves, and by thoughts, and by all those things the loss of which causes death. 10.122. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search thereof when he is grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. Therefore, both old and young ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. So we must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it. 10.123. Those things which without ceasing I have declared unto thee, those do, and exercise thyself therein, holding them to be the elements of right life. First believe that God is a living being immortal and blessed, according to the notion of a god indicated by the common sense of mankind; and so believing, thou shalt not affirm of him aught that is foreign to his immortality or that agrees not with blessedness, but shalt believe about him whatever may uphold both his blessedness and his immortality. For verily there are gods, and the knowledge of them is manifest; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that men do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them. Not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them is truly impious. 10.124. For the utterances of the multitude about the gods are not true preconceptions but false assumptions; hence it is that the greatest evils happen to the wicked and the greatest blessings happen to the good from the hand of the gods, seeing that they are always favourable to their own good qualities and take pleasure in men like unto themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind.Accustom thyself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply sentience, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life an illimitable time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. 10.125. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly apprehended that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatsoever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer. But in the world, at one time men shun death as the greatest of all evils, and at another time choose it as a respite from the evils in life. 10.126. The wise man does not deprecate life nor does he fear the cessation of life. The thought of life is no offence to him, nor is the cessation of life regarded as an evil. And even as men choose of food not merely and simply the larger portion, but the more pleasant, so the wise seek to enjoy the time which is most pleasant and not merely that which is longest. And he who admonishes the young to live well and the old to make a good end speaks foolishly, not merely because of the desirableness of life, but because the same exercise at once teaches to live well and to die well. Much worse is he who says that it were good not to be born, but when once one is born to pass with all speed through the gates of Hades. 10.127. For if he truly believes this, why does he not depart from life? It were easy for him to do so, if once he were firmly convinced. If he speaks only in mockery, his words are foolishness, for those who hear believe him not.We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither must we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come.We must also reflect that of desires some are natural, others are groundless; and that of the natural some are necessary as well as natural, and some natural only. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live. 10.128. He who has a clear and certain understanding of these things will direct every preference and aversion toward securing health of body and tranquillity of mind, seeing that this is the sum and end of a blessed life. For the end of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when once we have attained all this, the tempest of the soul is laid; seeing that the living creature has no need to go in search of something that is lacking, nor to look for anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled. When we are pained because of the absence of pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure. Wherefore we call pleasure the alpha and omega of a blessed life. Pleasure is our first and kindred good. 10.129. It is the starting-point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing. And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatsoever, but ofttimes pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them. And ofttimes we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure is choiceworthy, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. 10.130. It is, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, that all these matters must be judged. Sometimes we treat the good as an evil, and the evil, on the contrary, as a good. Again, we regard independence of outward things as a great good, not so as in all cases to use little, but so as to be contented with little if we have not much, being honestly persuaded that they have the sweetest enjoyment of luxury who stand least in need of it, and that whatever is natural is easily procured and only the vain and worthless hard to win. Plain fare gives as much pleasure as a costly diet, when once the pain of want has been removed 10.131. while bread and water confer the highest possible pleasure when they are brought to hungry lips. To habituate one's self, therefore, to simple and inexpensive diet supplies all that is needful for health, and enables a man to meet the necessary requirements of life without shrinking, and it places us in a better condition when we approach at intervals a costly fare and renders us fearless of fortune.When we say, then, that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some through ignorance, prejudice, or wilful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. 10.132. It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of revelry, not sexual love, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. of all this the beginning and the greatest good is prudence. Wherefore prudence is a more precious thing even than philosophy; from it spring all the other virtues, for it teaches that we cannot lead a life of pleasure which is not also a life of prudence, honour, and justice; nor lead a life of prudence, honour, and justice, which is not also a life of pleasure. For the virtues have grown into one with a pleasant life, and a pleasant life is inseparable from them. 10.133. Who, then, is superior in thy judgement to such a man? He holds a holy belief concerning the gods, and is altogether free from the fear of death. He has diligently considered the end fixed by nature, and understands how easily the limit of good things can be reached and attained, and how either the duration or the intensity of evils is but slight. Destiny, which some introduce as sovereign over all things, he laughs to scorn, affirming rather that some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency. For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance or fortune is inconstant; whereas our own actions are free, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach. 10.134. It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath that yoke of destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed. The one holds out some faint hope that we may escape if we honour the gods, while the necessity of the naturalists is deaf to all entreaties. Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to men so as to make life blessed, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil. He believes that the misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. 10.135. It is better, in short, that what is well judged in action should not owe its successful issue to the aid of chance.Exercise thyself in these and kindred precepts day and night, both by thyself and with him who is like unto thee; then never, either in waking or in dream, wilt thou be disturbed, but wilt live as a god among men. For man loses all semblance of mortality by living in the midst of immortal blessings.Elsewhere he rejects the whole of divination, as in the short epitome, and says, No means of predicting the future really exists, and if it did, we must regard what happens according to it as nothing to us.Such are his views on life and conduct; and he has discoursed upon them at greater length elsewhere.
16. Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 1.9, 1.9.8, 1.18.11 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

17. Augustine, The City of God, 6.7 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

6.7. That theology, therefore, which is fabulous, theatrical, scenic, and full of all baseness and unseemliness, is taken up into the civil theology; and part of that theology, which in its totality is deservedly judged to be worthy of reprobation and rejection, is pronounced worthy to be cultivated and observed - not at all an incongruous part, as I have undertaken to show, and one which, being alien to the whole body, was unsuitably attached to and suspended from it, but a part entirely congruous with, and most harmoniously fitted to the rest, as a member of the same body. For what else do those images, forms, ages, sexes, characteristics of the gods show? If the poets have Jupiter with a beard and Mercury beardless, have not the priests the same? Is the Priapus of the priests less obscene than the Priapus of the players? Does he receive the adoration of worshippers in a different form from that in which he moves about the stage for the amusement of spectators? Is not Saturn old and Apollo young in the shrines where their images stand as well as when represented by actors' masks? Why are Forculus, who presides over doors, and Limentinus, who presides over thresholds and lintels, male gods, and Cardea between them feminine, who presides over hinges? Are not those things found in books on divine things, which grave poets have deemed unworthy of their verses? Does the Diana of the theatre carry arms, while the Diana of the city is simply a virgin? Is the stage Apollo a lyrist, but the Delphic Apollo ignorant of this art? But these things are decent compared with the more shameful things. What was thought of Jupiter himself by those who placed his wet nurse in the Capitol? Did they not bear witness to Euhemerus, who, not with the garrulity of a fable-teller, but with the gravity of an historian who had diligently investigated the matter, wrote that all such gods had been men and mortals? And they who appointed the Epulones as parasites at the table of Jupiter, what else did they wish for but mimic sacred rites. For if any mimic had said that parasites of Jupiter were made use of at his table, he would assuredly have appeared to be seeking to call forth laughter. Varro said it - not when he was mocking, but when he was commending the gods did he say it. His books on divine, not on human, things testify that he wrote this - not where he set forth the scenic games, but where he explained the Capitoline laws. In a word, he is conquered, and confesses that, as they made the gods with a human form, so they believed that they are delighted with human pleasures. For also malign spirits were not so wanting to their own business as not to confirm noxious opinions in the minds of men by converting them into sport. Whence also is that story about the sacristan of Hercules, which says that, having nothing to do, he took to playing at dice as a pastime, throwing them alternately with the one hand for Hercules, with the other for himself, with this understanding, that if he should win, he should from the funds of the temple prepare himself a supper, and hire a mistress; but if Hercules should win the game, he himself should, at his own expense, provide the same for the pleasure of Hercules. Then, when he had been beaten by himself, as though by Hercules, he gave to the god Hercules the supper he owed him, and also the most noble harlot Larentina. But she, having fallen asleep in the temple, dreamed that Hercules had had intercourse with her, and had said to her that she would find her payment with the youth whom she should first meet on leaving the temple, and that she was to believe this to be paid to her by Hercules. And so the first youth that met her on going out was the wealthy Tarutius, who kept her a long time, and when he died left her his heir. She, having obtained a most ample fortune, that she should not seem ungrateful for the divine hire, in her turn made the Roman people her heir, which she thought to be most acceptable to the deities; and, having disappeared, the will was found. By which meritorious conduct they say that she gained divine honors. Now had these things been feigned by the poets and acted by the mimics, they would without any doubt have been said to pertain to the fabulous theology, and would have been judged worthy to be separated from the dignity of the civil theology. But when these shameful things - not of the poets, but of the people; not of the mimics, but of the sacred things; not of the theatres, but of the temples, that is, not of the fabulous, but of the civil theology, - are reported by so great an author, not in vain do the actors represent with theatrical art the baseness of the gods, which is so great; but surely in vain do the priests attempt, by rites called sacred, to represent their nobleness of character, which has no existence. There are sacred rites of Juno; and these are celebrated in her beloved island, Samos, where she was given in marriage to Jupiter. There are sacred rites of Ceres, in which Proserpine is sought for, having been carried off by Pluto. There are sacred rites of Venus, in which, her beloved Adonis being slain by a boar's tooth, the lovely youth is lamented. There are sacred rites of the mother of the gods, in which the beautiful youth Atys, loved by her, and castrated by her through a woman's jealousy, is deplored by men who have suffered the like calamity, whom they call Galli. Since, then, these things are more unseemly than all scenic abomination, why is it that they strive to separate, as it were, the fabulous fictions of the poet concerning the gods, as, forsooth, pertaining to the theatre, from the civil theology which they wish to belong to the city, as though they were separating from noble and worthy things, things unworthy and base? Wherefore there is more reason to thank the stage-actors, who have spared the eyes of men and have not laid bare by theatrical exhibition all the things which are hid by the walls of the temples. What good is to be thought of their sacred rites which are concealed in darkness, when those which are brought forth into the light are so detestable? And certainly they themselves have seen what they transact in secret through the agency of mutilated and effeminate men. Yet they have not been able to conceal those same men miserably and vile enervated and corrupted. Let them persuade whom they can that they transact anything holy through such men, who, they cannot deny, are numbered, and live among their sacred things. We know not what they transact, but we know through whom they transact; for we know what things are transacted on the stage, where never, even in a chorus of harlots, has one who is mutilated or an effeminate appeared. And, nevertheless, even these things are acted by vile and infamous characters; for, indeed, they ought not to be acted by men of good character. What, then, are those sacred rites, for the performance of which holiness has chosen such men as not even the obscenity of the stage has admitted?
18. Epicurus, Letter To Menoeceus, 135



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
allegory/allegorization Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
animal sacrifice, epistemology Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
animal sacrifice, eschatology' Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
apuleius Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
ara maxima Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
aristides, apologist Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
arnobius, concept of salvation Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
arnobius Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
ascension, heracless Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
athenagoras Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
atoms, andoid Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
atoms, nature/properties of Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
beast, passions as Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
castor Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
chimaera Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 94
cicero, allusion by lucretius to Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 90, 91, 92, 93, 94
cicero, de natura deorum Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 93, 94
cicero, prognostica Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 90, 91
cicero Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
circus maximus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
cleanthes Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
clement of alexandria Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
cosmology Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
cotta Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
crates, cynic Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
creation Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
cynic-stoic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
cynics/cynicism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
cynics Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63; Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
cyprian Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
democritus Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
diogenes Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
effeminacy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
epicurean proems in lucretius drn Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 90, 91, 92, 93, 94
epicureans, chance Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
epicureans, pleasure Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
epicureans Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
epicurus, authority in the de rerum natura Bryan, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 225; Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 225
epicurus, deification Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
epicurus, heracles Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
epicurus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
euhemerus/euhemerism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
eurystheus Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
evander Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
gods Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
greek terms, ἡδονή Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
hebe Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
heracles/hercules, allegorization of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules, ascension Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
heracles/hercules, christian literature Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules, church fathers Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules, cult of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
heracles/hercules, euhemerism Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
heracles/hercules, homosexuality Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules, in church fathers Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules, labors of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules, latin literature Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
heracles/hercules, polemic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
heracles/hercules Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
heracles Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303; Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
hercules Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 93; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
hume, david Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
justin the gnostic Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
labor Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
labors of heracles Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
lactantius Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
lucian Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
lucretius, allusion to ciceros aratea throughout drn Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 90, 91, 92, 93, 94
lucretius, devotion to epicurus Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 225
lucretius Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122; Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
lust Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
maximus of turin Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
meteorology, thunder Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
mnemosyne Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
norden, eduard Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
passion, as beasts Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
phaethon Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 93
philanthropy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
philosophy, graeco-roman Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
philosophy Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
pleasure Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
plutarch Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
pollux Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
punic wars, second Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
roman Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
scipio africanus, and achilles Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
scipio africanus, imitatio of alexander the great by Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
scipio africanus, katabasis of Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
scipio africanus, meeting with homer Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
scipio africanus, meeting with virtus and voluptas Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
seneca (the younger) Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
sexuality Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
sibyl Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
silius italicus, and ennius Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
silius italicus, and homer Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
silius italicus, and lucretius Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
silius italicus, and virgil Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
silius italicus, nekyia in Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
sirius Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 92, 93, 94
stoicism, allegorization Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655, 668
stoicism, heracles Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
stoicism Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 93, 94; Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122; Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
stoics Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
tertullian, on heracles Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668
tertullian Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 148
truth Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 71
underworld Augoustakis, Flavian Poetry and its Greek Past (2014) 303
vestigia Gee, Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition (2013) 90
vice Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 655
virtus, as supposed opposite of voluptas Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
voluptas, as supposed opposite of virtus Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus (2012) 122
zeno Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 63
zeus, son of Malherbe et al., Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity: Collected Essays of Abraham J (2014) 668