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Origen, Against Celsus, 6.22

nanAfter this, Celsus, desiring to exhibit his learning in his treatise against us, quotes also certain Persian mysteries, where he says: These things are obscurely hinted at in the accounts of the Persians, and especially in the mysteries of Mithras, which are celebrated among them. For in the latter there is a representation of the two heavenly revolutions - of the movement, viz., of the fixed stars, and of that which take place among the planets, and of the passage of the soul through these. The representation is of the following nature: There is a ladder with lofty gates, and on the top of it an eighth gate. The first gate consists of lead, the second of tin, the third of copper, the fourth of iron, the fifth of a mixture of metals, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of gold. The first gate they assign to Saturn, indicating by the 'lead' the slowness of this star; the second to Venus, comparing her to the splendour and softness of tin; the third to Jupiter, being firm and solid; the fourth to Mercury, for both Mercury and iron are fit to endure all things, and are money-making and laborious; the fifth to Mars, because, being composed of a mixture of metals, it is varied and unequal; the sixth, of silver, to the Moon; the seventh, of gold, to the Sun - thus imitating the different colors of the two latter. He next proceeds to examine the reason of the stars being arranged in this order, which is symbolized by the names of the rest of matter. Musical reasons, moreover, are added or quoted by the Persian theology; and to these, again, he strives to add a second explanation, connected also with musical considerations. But it seems to me, that to quote the language of Celsus upon these matters would be absurd, and similar to what he himself has done, when, in his accusations against Christians and Jews, he quoted, most inappropriately, not only the words of Plato; but, dissatisfied even with these, he adduced in addition the mysteries of the Persian Mithras, and the explanation of them. Now, whatever be the case with regard to these - whether the Persians and those who conduct the mysteries of Mithras give false or true accounts regarding them - why did he select these for quotation, rather than some of the other mysteries, with the explanation of them? For the mysteries of Mithras do not appear to be more famous among the Greeks than those of Eleusis, or than those in Ægina, where individuals are initiated in the rites of Hecate. But if he must introduce barbarian mysteries with their explanation, why not rather those of the Egyptians, which are highly regarded by many, or those of the Cappadocians regarding the Comanian Diana, or those of the Thracians, or even those of the Romans themselves, who initiate the noblest members of their senate? But if he deemed it inappropriate to institute a comparison with any of these, because they furnished no aid in the way of accusing Jews or Christians, why did it not also appear to him inappropriate to adduce the instance of the mysteries of Mithras?

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

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1. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 103.26 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2. Homer, Iliad, 21.194-21.197 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

21.194. /Wherefore as Zeus is mightier than rivers that murmur seaward, so mightier too is the seed of Zeus than the seed of a river. For lo, hard beside thee is a great River, if so be he can avail thee aught; but it may not be that one should fight with Zeus the son of Cronos. With him doth not even king Achelous vie 21.195. /nor the great might of deep-flowing Ocean, from whom all rivers flow and every sea, and all the springs and deep wells; howbeit even he hath fear of the lightning of great Zeus, and his dread thunder, whenso it crasheth from heaven. 21.196. /nor the great might of deep-flowing Ocean, from whom all rivers flow and every sea, and all the springs and deep wells; howbeit even he hath fear of the lightning of great Zeus, and his dread thunder, whenso it crasheth from heaven. 21.197. /nor the great might of deep-flowing Ocean, from whom all rivers flow and every sea, and all the springs and deep wells; howbeit even he hath fear of the lightning of great Zeus, and his dread thunder, whenso it crasheth from heaven.
3. Plato, Phaedrus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

247c. pass outside and take their place on the outer surface of the heaven, and when they have taken their stand, the revolution carries them round and they behold the things outside of the heaven. But the region above the heaven was never worthily sung by any earthly poet, nor will it ever be. It is, however, as I shall tell; for I must dare to speak the truth, especially as truth is my theme. For the colorless, formless, and intangible truly existing essence, with which all true knowledge is concerned, holds this region
4. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

5. New Testament, 2 Timothy, 3.6-3.7 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.6. For of these are those who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts 3.7. always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
6. Plutarch, On Isis And Osiris, 47, 46 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

46. The great majority and the wisest of men hold this opinion: they believe that there are two gods, rivals as it were, the one the Artificer of good and the other of evil. There are also those who call the better one a god and the other a daemon, as, for example, Zoroaster The casual reader will gain a better understanding of chapters 46 and 47 if he will consult some brief book or article on Zoroaster (Zarathustra) and the Persian religion. the sage, That is, one of the Persian Magi or Wise Men. who, they record, lived five thousand years before the time of the Trojan War. He called the one Oromazes and the other Areimanius Cf. Moralia, 1026 b, and Diogenes Laertius, Prologue, 2. ; and he further declared that among all the things perceptible to the senses, Oromazes may best be compared to light, and Areimanius, conversely, to darkness and ignorance, and midway between the two is Mithras; for this reason the Persians give to Mithras the name, of Mediator. Zoroaster has also taught that men should make votive offerings and thank-offerings to Oromazes, and averting and mourning offerings to Areimanius. They pound up in a mortar a certain plant called omomi, at the same time invoking Hades Cf. Diogenes Laertius, Prologue, 8. and Darkness; then they mix it with the blood of a wolf that has been sacrificed, and carry it out and cast it into a place where the sun never shines. In fact, they believe that some of the plants belong to the good god and others to the evil daemon; so also of the animals they think that dogs, fowls, and hedgehogs, for example, belong to the good god, but that water-rats Cf. Moralia, 537 a and 670 d. belong to the evil one; therefore the man who has killed the most of these they hold to be fortunate. 46. The great majority and the wisest of men hold this opinion: they believe that there are two gods, rivals as it were, the one the Artificer of good and the other of evil. There are also those who call the better one a god and the other a daemon, as, for example, Zoroaster the sage, who, they record, lived five thousand years before the time of the Trojan War. He called the one Oromazes and the other Areimanius; and he further declared that among all the things perceptible to the senses, Oromazes may best be compared to light, and Areimanius, conversely, to darkness and ignorance, and midway between the two is Mithras: for this reason the Persians give to Mithras the name of "Mediator." Zoroaster has also taught that men should make votive offerings and thank-offerings to Oromazes, and averting and mourning offerings to Areimanius. They pound up in a mortar a certain plant called omomi at the same time invoking Hades and Darkness; then they mix it with the blood of a wolf that has been sacrificed, and carry it out and cast it into a place where the sun never shines. In fact, they believe that some of the plants belong to the good god and others to the evil daemon; so also of the animals they think that dogs, fowls, and hedgehogs, for example, belong to the good god, but that water-rats belong to the evil one; therefore the man who has killed the most of these they hold to be fortunate.
7. Plutarch, Pompey, 24 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Justin, First Apology, 1.66 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 35.6 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Tertullian, On Baptism, 5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5. Well, but the nations, who are strangers to all understanding of spiritual powers, ascribe to their idols the imbuing of waters with the self-same efficacy. (So they do) but they cheat themselves with waters which are widowed. For washing is the channel through which they are initiated into some sacred rites- of some notorious Isis or Mithras. The gods themselves likewise they honour by washings. Moreover, by carrying water around, and sprinkling it, they everywhere expiate country-seats, houses, temples, and whole cities: at all events, at the Apollinarian and Eleusinian games they are baptized; and they presume that the effect of their doing that is their regeneration and the remission of the penalties due to their perjuries. Among the ancients, again, whoever had defiled himself with murder, was wont to go in quest of purifying waters. Therefore, if the mere nature of water, in that it is the appropriate material for washing away, leads men to flatter themselves with a belief in omens of purification, how much more truly will waters render that service through the authority of God, by whom all their nature has been constituted! If men think that water is endued with a medicinal virtue by religion, what religion is more effectual than that of the living God? Which fact being acknowledged, we recognise here also the zeal of the devil rivalling the things of God, while we find him, too, practising baptism in his subjects. What similarity is there? The unclean cleanses! The ruiner sets free! The damned absolves! He will, forsooth, destroy his own work, by washing away the sins which himself inspires! These (remarks) have been set down by way of testimony against such as reject the faith; if they put no trust in the things of God, the spurious imitations of which, in the case of God's rival, they do trust in. Are there not other cases too, in which, without any sacrament, unclean spirits brood on waters, in spurious imitation of that brooding of the Divine Spirit in the very beginning? Witness all shady founts, and all unfrequented brooks, and the ponds in the baths, and the conduits in private houses, or the cisterns and wells which are said to have the property of spiriting away, through the power, that is, of a hurtful spirit. Men whom waters have drowned or affected with madness or with fear, they call nymph-caught, or lymphatic, or hydro-phobic. Why have we adduced these instances? Lest any think it too hard for belief that a holy angel of God should grant his presence to waters, to temper them to man's salvation; while the evil angel holds frequent profane commerce with the selfsame element to man's ruin. If it seems a novelty for an angel to be present in waters, an example of what was to come to pass has forerun. An angel, by his intervention, was wont to stir the pool at Bethsaida. They who were complaining of ill-health used to watch for him; for whoever had been the first to descend into them, after his washing, ceased to complain. This figure of corporeal healing sang of a spiritual healing, according to the rule by which things carnal are always antecedent as figurative of things spiritual. And thus, when the grace of God advanced to higher degrees among men, John 1:16-17 an accession of efficacy was granted to the waters and to the angel. They who were wont to remedy bodily defects, now heal the spirit; they who used to work temporal salvation now renew eternal; they who did set free but once in the year, now save peoples in a body daily, death being done away through ablution of sins. The guilt being removed, of course the penalty is removed too. Thus man will be restored for God to His likeness, who in days bygone had been conformed to the image of God; (the image is counted (to be) in his form: the likeness in his eternity:) for he receives again that Spirit of God which he had then first received from His afflatus, but had afterward lost through sin.
11. Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics, 40 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

12. Origen, Against Celsus, 1.32, 3.16, 4.10, 5.63, 6.19, 6.21, 6.23-6.38, 6.42, 7.28, 7.32, 7.40, 7.58, 8.48 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.32. But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that when she was pregt she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera; and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost: for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage. It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood. And their not doing this in a credible manner, but (their) preserving the fact that it was not by Joseph that the Virgin conceived Jesus, rendered the falsehood very palpable to those who can understand and detect such inventions. Is it at all agreeable to reason, that he who dared to do so much for the human race, in order that, as far as in him lay, all the Greeks and Barbarians, who were looking for divine condemnation, might depart from evil, and regulate their entire conduct in a manner pleasing to the Creator of the world, should not have had a miraculous birth, but one the vilest and most disgraceful of all? And I will ask of them as Greeks, and particularly of Celsus, who either holds or not the sentiments of Plato, and at any rate quotes them, whether He who sends souls down into the bodies of men, degraded Him who was to dare such mighty acts, and to teach so many men, and to reform so many from the mass of wickedness in the world, to a birth more disgraceful than any other, and did not rather introduce Him into the world through a lawful marriage? Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say all), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities. 3.16. But what the legends are of every kind which we gather together, or the terrors which we invent, as Celsus without proof asserts, he who likes may show. I know not, indeed, what he means by inventing terrors, unless it be our doctrine of God as Judge, and of the condemnation of men for their deeds, with the various proofs derived partly from Scripture, partly from probable reason. And yet - for truth is precious - Celsus says, at the close, Forbid that either I, or these, or any other individual should ever reject the doctrine respecting the future punishment of the wicked and the reward of the good! What terrors, then, if you except the doctrine of punishment, do we invent and impose upon mankind? And if he should reply that we weave together erroneous opinions drawn from ancient sources, and trumpet them aloud, and sound them before men, as the priests of Cybele clash their cymbals in the ears of those who are being initiated in their mysteries; we shall ask him in reply, Erroneous opinions from what ancient sources? For, whether he refers to Grecian accounts, which taught the existence of courts of justice under the earth, or Jewish, which, among other things, predicted the life that follows the present one; he will be unable to show that we who, striving to believe in grounds of reason, regulate our lives in conformity with such doctrines, have failed correctly to ascertain the truth. 4.10. In the next place, Celsus, as is his custom, having neither proved nor established anything, proceeds to say, as if we talked of God in a manner that was neither holy nor pious, that it is perfectly manifest that they babble about God in a way that is neither holy nor reverential; and he imagines that we do these things to excite the astonishment of the ignorant, and that we do not speak the truth regarding the necessity of punishments for those who have sinned. And accordingly he likens us to those who in the Bacchic mysteries introduce phantoms and objects of terror. With respect to the mysteries of Bacchus, whether there is any trustworthy account of them, or none that is such, let the Greeks tell, and let Celsus and his boon-companions listen. But we defend our own procedure, when we say that our object is to reform the human race, either by the threats of punishments which we are persuaded are necessary for the whole world, and which perhaps are not without use to those who are to endure them; or by the promises made to those who have lived virtuous lives, and in which are contained the statements regarding the blessed termination which is to be found in the kingdom of God, reserved for those who are worthy of becoming His subjects. 5.63. In the next place, that he may have the appearance of knowing still more than he has yet mentioned, he says, agreeably to his usual custom, that there are others who have wickedly invented some being as their teacher and demon, and who wallow about in a great darkness, more unholy and accursed than that of the companions of the Egyptian Antinous. And he seems to me, indeed, in touching on these matters, to say with a certain degree of truth, that there are certain others who have wickedly invented another demon, and who have found him to be their lord, as they wallow about in the great darkness of their ignorance. With respect, however, to Antinous, who is compared with our Jesus, we shall not repeat what we have already said in the preceding pages. Moreover, he continues, these persons utter against one another dreadful blasphemies, saying all manner of things shameful to be spoken; nor will they yield in the slightest point for the sake of harmony, hating each other with a perfect hatred. Now, in answer to this, we have already said that in philosophy and medicine sects are to be found warring against sects. We, however, who are followers of the word of Jesus, and have exercised ourselves in thinking, and saying, and doing what is in harmony with His words, when reviled, bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat; and we would not utter all manner of things shameful to be spoken against those who have adopted different opinions from ours, but, if possible, use every exertion to raise them to a better condition through adherence to the Creator alone, and lead them to perform every act as those who will (one day) be judged. And if those who hold different opinions will not be convinced, we observe the injunction laid down for the treatment of such: A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself. Moreover, we who know the maxim, Blessed are the peacemakers, and this also, Blessed are the meek, would not regard with hatred the corrupters of Christianity, nor term those who had fallen into error Circes and flattering deceivers. 6.19. Celsus in the next place alleges, that certain Christians, having misunderstood the words of Plato, loudly boast of a 'super-celestial' God, thus ascending beyond the heaven of the Jews. By these words, indeed, he does not make it clear whether they also ascend beyond the God of the Jews, or only beyond the heaven by which they swear. It is not our purpose at present, however, to speak of those who acknowledge another god than the one worshipped by the Jews, but to defend ourselves, and to show that it was impossible for the prophets of the Jews, whose writings are reckoned among ours, to have borrowed anything from Plato, because they were older than he. They did not then borrow from him the declaration, that all things are around the King of all, and that all exist on account of him; for we have learned that nobler thoughts than these have been uttered by the prophets, by Jesus Himself and His disciples, who have clearly indicated the meaning of the spirit that was in them, which was none other than the spirit of Christ. Nor was the philosopher the first to present to view the super-celestial place; for David long ago brought to view the profundity and multitude of the thoughts concerning God entertained by those who have ascended above visible things, when he said in the book of Psalms: Praise God, you heaven of heavens and you waters that be above the heavens, let them praise the name of the Lord . I do not, indeed, deny that Plato learned from certain Hebrews the words quoted from the Ph drus, or even, as some have recorded, that he quoted them from a perusal of our prophetic writings, when he said: No poet here below has ever sung of the super-celestial place, or ever will sing in a becoming manner, and so on. And in the same passage is the following: For the essence, which is both colorless and formless, and which cannot be touched, which really exists, is the pilot of the soul, and is beheld by the understanding alone; and around it the genus of true knowledge holds this place. Our Paul, moreover, educated by these words, and longing after things supra-mundane and super-celestial, and doing his utmost for their sake to attain them, says in the second Epistle to the Corinthians: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are unseen are eternal. 6.21. The Scriptures which are current in the Churches of God do not speak of seven heavens, or of any definite number at all, but they do appear to teach the existence of heavens, whether that means the spheres of those bodies which the Greeks call planets, or something more mysterious. Celsus, too, agreeably to the opinion of Plato, asserts that souls can make their way to and from the earth through the planets; while Moses, our most ancient prophet, says that a divine vision was presented to the view of our prophet Jacob, - a ladder stretching to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it, and the Lord supported upon its top - obscurely pointing, by this matter of the ladder, either to the same truths which Plato had in view, or to something greater than these. On this subject Philo has composed a treatise which deserves the thoughtful and intelligent investigation of all lovers of truth. 6.23. If one wished to obtain means for a profounder contemplation of the entrance of souls into divine things, not from the statements of that very insignificant sect from which he quoted, but from books - partly those of the Jews, which are read in their synagogues, and adopted by Christians, and partly from those of Christians alone - let him peruse, at the end of Ezekiel's prophecies, the visions beheld by the prophet, in which gates of different kinds are enumerated, which obscurely refer to the different modes in which divine souls enter into a better world; and let him peruse also, from the Apocalypse of John, what is related of the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and of its foundations and gates. And if he is capable of finding out also the road, which is indicated by symbols, of those who will march on to divine things, let him read the book of Moses entitled Numbers, and let him seek the help of one who is capable of initiating him into the meaning of the narratives concerning the encampments of the children of Israel; viz., of what sort those were which were arranged towards the east, as was the case with the first; and what those towards the south-west and south; and what towards the sea; and what the last were, which were stationed towards the north. For he will see that there is in the respective places a meaning not to be lightly treated, nor, as Celsus imagines, such as calls only for silly and servile listeners: but he will distinguish in the encampments certain things relating to the numbers that are enumerated, and which are specially adapted to each tribe, of which the present does not appear to us to be the proper time to speak. Let Celsus know, moreover, as well as those who read his book, that in no part of the genuine and divinely accredited Scriptures are seven heavens mentioned; neither do our prophets, nor the apostles of Jesus, nor the Son of God Himself, repeat anything which they borrowed from the Persians or the Cabiri. 6.24. After the instance borrowed from the Mithraic mysteries, Celsus declares that he who would investigate the Christian mysteries, along with the aforesaid Persian, will, on comparing the two together, and on unveiling the rites of the Christians, see in this way the difference between them. Now, wherever he was able to give the names of the various sects, he was nothing loth to quote those with which he thought himself acquainted; but when he ought most of all to have done this, if they were really known to him, and to have informed us which was the sect that makes use of the diagram he has drawn, he has not done so. It seems to me, however, that it is from some statements of a very insignificant sect called Ophites, which he has misunderstood, that, in my opinion, he has partly borrowed what he says about the diagram. Now, as we have always been animated by a love of learning, we have fallen in with this diagram, and we have found in it the representations of men who, as Paul says, creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with various lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The diagram was, however, so destitute of all credibility, that neither these easily deceived women, nor the most rustic class of men, nor those who were ready to be led away by any plausible pretender whatever, ever gave their assent to the diagram. Nor, indeed, have we ever met any individual, although we have visited many parts of the earth, and have sought out all those who anywhere made profession of knowledge, that placed any faith in this diagram. 6.25. In this diagram were described ten circles, distinct from each other, but united by one circle, which was said to be the soul of all things, and was called Leviathan. This Leviathan, the Jewish Scriptures say, whatever they mean by the expression, was created by God for a plaything; for we find in the Psalms: In wisdom have You made all things: the earth is full of Your creatures; so is this great and wide sea. There go the ships; small animals with great; there is this dragon, which You have formed to play therein. Instead of the word dragon, the term leviathan is in the Hebrew. This impious diagram, then, said of this leviathan, which is so clearly depreciated by the Psalmist, that it was the soul which had travelled through all things! We observed, also, in the diagram, the being named Behemoth, placed as it were under the lowest circle. The inventor of this accursed diagram had inscribed this leviathan at its circumference and centre, thus placing its name in two separate places. Moreover, Celsus says that the diagram was divided by a thick black line, and this line he asserted was called Gehenna, which is Tartarus. Now as we found that Gehenna was mentioned in the Gospel as a place of punishment, we searched to see whether it is mentioned anywhere in the ancient Scriptures, and especially because the Jews too use the word. And we ascertained that where the valley of the son of Ennom was named in Scripture in the Hebrew, instead of valley, with fundamentally the same meaning, it was termed both the valley of Ennom and also Geenna. And continuing our researches, we find that what was termed Geenna, or the valley of Ennom, was included in the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, in which Jerusalem also was situated. And seeking to ascertain what might be the inference from the heavenly Jerusalem belonging to the lot of Benjamin and the valley of Ennom, we find a certain confirmation of what is said regarding the place of punishment, intended for the purification of such souls as are to be purified by torments, agreeably to the saying: The Lord comes like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and of gold. 6.26. It is in the precincts of Jerusalem, then, that punishments will be inflicted upon those who undergo the process of purification, who have received into the substance of their soul the elements of wickedness, which in a certain place is figuratively termed lead, and on that account iniquity is represented in Zechariah as sitting upon a talent of lead. But the remarks which might be made on this topic are neither to be made to all, nor to be uttered on the present occasion; for it is not unattended with danger to commit to writing the explanation of such subjects, seeing the multitude need no further instruction than that which relates to the punishment of sinners; while to ascend beyond this is not expedient, for the sake of those who are with difficulty restrained, even by fear of eternal punishment, from plunging into any degree of wickedness, and into the flood of evils which result from sin. The doctrine of Geenna, then, is unknown both to the diagram and to Celsus: for had it been otherwise, the framers of the former would not have boasted of their pictures of animals and diagrams, as if the truth were represented by these; nor would Celsus, in his treatise against the Christians, have introduced among the charges directed against them statements which they never uttered instead of what was spoken by some who perhaps are no longer in existence, but have altogether disappeared, or been reduced to a very few individuals, and these easily counted. And as it does not beseem those who profess the doctrines of Plato to offer a defense of Epicurus and his impious opinions, so neither is it for us to defend the diagram, or to refute the accusations brought against it by Celsus. We may therefore allow his charges on these points to pass as superfluous and useless, for we would censure more severely than Celsus any who should be carried away by such opinions. 6.27. After the matter of the diagram, he brings forward certain monstrous statements, in the form of question and answer, regarding what is called by ecclesiastical writers the seal, statements which did not arise from imperfect information; such as that he who impresses the seal is called father, and he who is sealed is called young man and son; and who answers, I have been anointed with white ointment from the tree of life,- things which we never heard to have occurred even among the heretics. In the next place, he determines even the number mentioned by those who deliver over the seal, as that of seven angels, who attach themselves to both sides of the soul of the dying body; the one party being named angels of light, the others 'archontics;' and he asserts that the ruler of those named 'archontics' is termed the 'accursed' god. Then, laying hold of the expression, he assails, not without reason, those who venture to use such language; and on that account we entertain a similar feeling of indignation with those who censure such individuals, if indeed there exist any who call the God of the Jews- who sends rain and thunder, and who is the Creator of this world, and the God of Moses, and of the cosmogony which he records - an accursed divinity. Celsus, however, appears to have had in view in employing these expressions, not a rational object, but one of a most irrational kind, arising out of his hatred towards us, which is so unlike a philosopher. For his aim was, that those who are unacquainted with our customs should, on perusing his treatise, at once assail us as if we called the noble Creator of this world an accursed divinity. He appears to me, indeed, to have acted like those Jews who, when Christianity began to be first preached, scattered abroad false reports of the Gospel, such as that Christians offered up an infant in sacrifice, and partook of its flesh; and again, that the professors of Christianity, wishing to do the 'works of darkness,' used to extinguish the lights (in their meetings), and each one to have sexual intercourse with any woman whom he chanced to meet. These calumnies have long exercised, although unreasonably, an influence over the minds of very many, leading those who are aliens to the Gospel to believe that Christians are men of such a character; and even at the present day they mislead some, and prevent them from entering even into the simple intercourse of conversation with those who are Christians. 6.28. With some such object as this in view does Celsus seem to have been actuated, when he alleged that Christians term the Creator an accursed divinity; in order that he who believes these charges of his against us, should, if possible, arise and exterminate the Christians as the most impious of mankind. Confusing, moreover, things that are distinct, he states also the reason why the God of the Mosaic cosmogony is termed accursed, asserting that such is his character, and worthy of execration in the opinion of those who so regard him, inasmuch as he pronounced a curse upon the serpent, who introduced the first human beings to the knowledge of good and evil. Now he ought to have known that those who have espoused the cause of the serpent, because he gave good advice to the first human beings, and who go far beyond the Titans and Giants of fable, and are on this account called Ophites, are so far from being Christians, that they bring accusations against Jesus to as great a degree as Celsus himself; and they do not admit any one into their assembly until he has uttered maledictions against Jesus. See, then, how irrational is the procedure of Celsus, who, in his discourse against the Christians, represents as such those who will not even listen to the name of Jesus, or omit even that He was a wise man, or a person of virtuous character! What, then, could evince greater folly or madness, not only on the part of those who wish to derive their name from the serpent as the author of good, but also on the part of Celsus, who thinks that the accusations with which the Ophites are charged, are chargeable also against the Christians! Long ago, indeed, that Greek philosopher who preferred a state of poverty, and who exhibited the pattern of a happy life, showing that he was not excluded from happiness although he was possessed of nothing, termed himself a Cynic; while these impious wretches, as not being human beings, whose enemy the serpent is, but as being serpents, pride themselves upon being called Ophites from the serpent, which is an animal most hostile to and greatly dreaded by man, and boast of one Euphrates as the introducer of these unhallowed opinions. 6.29. In the next place, as if it were the Christians whom he was calumniating, he continues his accusations against those who termed the God of Moses and of his law an accursed divinity; and imagining that it is the Christians who so speak, he expresses himself thus: What could be more foolish or insane than such senseless wisdom? For what blunder has the Jewish lawgiver committed? And why do you accept, by means, as you say, of a certain allegorical and typical method of interpretation, the cosmogony which he gives, and the law of the Jews, while it is with unwillingness, O most impious man, that you give praise to the Creator of the world, who promised to give them all things; who promised to multiply their race to the ends of the earth, and to raise them up from the dead with the same flesh and blood, and who gave inspiration to their prophets; and, again, you slander Him! When you feel the force of such considerations, indeed, you acknowledge that you worship the same God; but when your teacher Jesus and the Jewish Moses give contradictory decisions, you seek another God, instead of Him, and the Father! Now, by such statements, this illustrious philosopher Celsus distinctly slanders the Christians, asserting that, when the Jews press them hard, they acknowledge the same God as they do; but that when Jesus legislates differently from Moses, they seek another god instead of Him. Now, whether we are conversing with the Jews, or are alone with ourselves, we know of only one and the same God, whom the Jews also worshipped of old time, and still profess to worship as God, and we are guilty of no impiety towards Him. We do not assert, however, that God will raise men from the dead with the same flesh and blood, as has been shown in the preceding pages; for we do not maintain that the natural body, which is sown in corruption, and in dishonour, and in weakness, will rise again such as it was sown. On such subjects, however, we have spoken at adequate length in the foregoing pages. 6.30. He next returns to the subject of the Seven ruling Demons, whose names are not found among Christians, but who, I think, are accepted by the Ophites. We found, indeed, that in the diagram, which on their account we procured a sight of, the same order was laid down as that which Celsus has given. Celsus says that the goat was shaped like a lion, not mentioning the name given him by those who are truly the most impious of individuals; whereas we discovered that He who is honoured in holy Scripture as the angel of the Creator is called by this accursed diagram Michael the Lion-like. Again, Celsus says that the second in order is a bull; whereas the diagram which we possessed made him to be Suriel, the bull-like. Further, Celsus termed the third an amphibious sort of animal, and one that hissed frightfully; while the diagram described the third as Raphael, the serpent-like. Moreover, Celsus asserted that the fourth had the form of an eagle; the diagram representing him as Gabriel, the eagle-like. Again, the fifth, according to Celsus, had the countece of a bear; and this, according to the diagram, was Thauthabaoth, the bear-like. Celsus continues his account, that the sixth was described as having the face of a dog; and him the diagram called Erataoth. The seventh, he adds, had the countece of an ass, and was named Thaphabaoth or Onoel; whereas we discovered that in the diagram he is called Onoel, or Thartharaoth, being somewhat asinine in appearance. We have thought it proper to be exact in stating these matters, that we might not appear to be ignorant of those things which Celsus professed to know, but that we Christians, knowing them better than he, may demonstrate that these are not the words of Christians, but of those who are altogether alienated from salvation, and who neither acknowledge Jesus as Saviour, nor God, nor Teacher, nor Son of God. 6.31. Moreover, if any one would wish to become acquainted with the artifices of those sorcerers, through which they desire to lead men away by their teaching (as if they possessed the knowledge of certain secret rites), but are not at all successful in so doing, let him listen to the instruction which they receive after passing through what is termed the fence of wickedness, - gates which are subjected to the world of ruling spirits. (The following, then, is the manner in which they proceed): I salute the one-formed king, the bond of blindness, complete oblivion, the first power, preserved by the spirit of providence and by wisdom, from whom I am sent forth pure, being already part of the light of the son and of the father: grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me. They say also that the beginnings of the Ogdoad are derived from this. In the next place, they are taught to say as follows, while passing through what they call Ialdabaoth: You, O first and seventh, who art born to command with confidence, you, O Ialdabaoth, who art the rational ruler of a pure mind, and a perfect work to son and father, bearing the symbol of life in the character of a type, and opening to the world the gate which you closed against your kingdom, I pass again in freedom through your realm. Let grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me. They say, moreover, that the star Ph non is in sympathy with the lion-like ruler. They next imagine that he who has passed through Ialdabaoth and arrived at Iao ought thus to speak: You, O second Iao, who shines by night, who art the ruler of the secret mysteries of son and father, first prince of death, and portion of the innocent, bearing now my own beard as symbol, I am ready to pass through your realm, having strengthened him who is born of you by the living word. Grace be with me; father, let it be with me. They next come to Sabaoth, to whom they think the following should be addressed: O governor of the fifth realm, powerful Sabaoth, defender of the law of your creatures, who are liberated by your grace through the help of a more powerful Pentad, admit me, seeing the faultless symbol of their art, preserved by the stamp of an image, a body liberated by a Pentad. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me. And after Sabaoth they come to Astaph us, to whom they believe the following prayer should be offered: O Astaph us, ruler of the third gate, overseer of the first principle of water, look upon me as one of your initiated, admit me who am purified with the spirit of a virgin, you who sees the essence of the world. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me. After him comes Alo us, who is to be thus addressed: O Alo us, governor of the second gate, let me pass, seeing I bring to you the symbol of your mother, a grace which is hidden by the powers of the realms. Let grace be with me, O father, let it be with me. And last of all they name Hor us, and think that the following prayer ought to be offered to him: You who fearlessly leaped over the rampart of fire, O Hor us, who obtained the government of the first gate, let me pass, seeing you behold the symbol of your own power, sculptured on the figure of the tree of life, and formed after this image, in the likeness of innocence. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me. 6.32. The supposed great learning of Celsus, which is composed, however, rather of curious trifles and silly talk than anything else, has made us touch upon these topics, from a wish to show to every one who peruses his treatise and our reply, that we have no lack of information on those subjects, from which he takes occasion to calumniate the Christians, who neither are acquainted with, nor concern themselves about, such matters. For we, too, desired both to learn and set forth these things, in order that sorcerers might not, under pretext of knowing more than we, delude those who are easily carried away by the glitter of names. And I could have given many more illustrations to show that we are acquainted with the opinions of these deluders, and that we disown them, as being alien to ours, and impious, and not in harmony with the doctrines of true Christians, of which we are ready to make confession even to the death. It must be noticed, too, that those who have drawn up this array of fictions, have, from neither understanding magic, nor discriminating the meaning of holy Scripture, thrown everything into confusion; seeing that they have borrowed from magic the names of Ialdabaoth, and Astaph us, and Hor us, and from the Hebrew Scriptures him who is termed in Hebrew Iao or Jah, and Sabaoth, and Adon us, and Elo us. Now the names taken from the Scriptures are names of one and the same God; which, not being understood by the enemies of God, as even themselves acknowledge, led to their imagining that Iao was a different God, and Sabaoth another, and Adon us, whom the Scriptures term Adonai, a third besides, and that Elo us, whom the prophets name in Hebrew Eloi, was also different 6.33. Celsus next relates other fables, to the effect that certain persons return to the shapes of the archontics, so that some are called lions, others bulls, others dragons, or eagles, or bears, or dogs. We found also in the diagram which we possessed, and which Celsus called the square pattern, the statements made by these unhappy beings concerning the gates of Paradise. The flaming sword was depicted as the diameter of a flaming circle, and as if mounting guard over the tree of knowledge and of life. Celsus, however, either would not or could not repeat the harangues which, according to the fables of these impious individuals, are represented as spoken at each of the gates by those who pass through them; but this we have done in order to show to Celsus and those who read his treatise, that we know the depth of these unhallowed mysteries, and that they are far removed from the worship which Christians offer up to God. 6.34. After finishing the foregoing, and those analogous matters which we ourselves have added, Celsus continues as follows: They continue to heap together one thing after another - discourses of prophets, and circles upon circles, and effluents from an earthly church, and from circumcision; and a power flowing from one Prunicos, a virgin and a living soul; and a heaven slain in order to live, and an earth slaughtered by the sword, and many put to death that they may live, and death ceasing in the world, when the sin of the world is dead; and, again, a narrow way, and gates that open spontaneously. And in all their writings (is mention made) of the tree of life, and a resurrection of the flesh by means of the 'tree,' because, I imagine, their teacher was nailed to a cross, and was a carpenter by craft; so that if he had chanced to have been cast from a precipice, or thrust into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, or had been a leather-cutter, or stone-cutter, or worker in iron, there would have been (invented) a precipice of life beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality, or a blessed stone, or an iron of love, or a sacred leather! Now what old woman would not be ashamed to utter such things in a whisper, even when making stories to lull an infant to sleep? In using such language as this, Celsus appears to me to confuse together matters which he has imperfectly heard. For it seems likely that, even supposing that he had heard a few words traceable to some existing heresy, he did not clearly understand the meaning intended to be conveyed; but heaping the words together, he wished to show before those who knew nothing either of our opinions or of those of the heretics, that he was acquainted with all the doctrines of the Christians. And this is evident also from the foregoing words. 6.35. It is our practice, indeed, to make use of the words of the prophets, who demonstrate that Jesus is the Christ predicted by them, and who show from the prophetic writings the events in the Gospels regarding Jesus have been fulfilled. But when Celsus speaks of circles upon circles, (he perhaps borrowed the expression) from the aforementioned heresy, which includes in one circle (which they call the soul of all things, and Leviathan) the seven circles of archontic demons, or perhaps it arises from misunderstanding the preacher, when he says: The wind goes in a circle of circles, and returns again upon its circles. The expression, too, effluents of an earthly church and of circumcision, was probably taken from the fact that the church on earth was called by some an effluent from a heavenly church and a better world; and that the circumcision described in the law was a symbol of the circumcision performed there, in a certain place set apart for purification. The adherents of Valentinus, moreover, in keeping with their system of error, give the name of Prunicos to a certain kind of wisdom, of which they would have the woman afflicted with the twelve years' issue of blood to be the symbol; so that Celsus, who confuses together all sorts of opinions - Greek, Barbarian, and Heretical - having heard of her, asserted that it was a power flowing forth from one Prunicos, a virgin. The living soul, again, is perhaps mysteriously referred by some of the followers of Valentinus to the being whom they term the psychic creator of the world; or perhaps, in contradistinction to a dead soul, the living soul is termed by some, not inelegantly, the soul of him who is saved. I know nothing, however, of a heaven which is said to be slain, or of an earth slaughtered by the sword, or of many persons slain in order that they might live; for it is not unlikely that these were coined by Celsus out of his own brain. 6.36. We would say, moreover, that death ceases in the world when the sin of the world dies, referring the saying to the mystical words of the apostle, which run as follows: When He shall have put all enemies under His feet, then the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. And also: When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. The strait descent, again, may perhaps be referred by those who hold the doctrine of transmigration of souls to that view of things. And it is not incredible that the gates which are said to open spontaneously are referred obscurely by some to the words, Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may go into them, and praise the Lord; this gate of the Lord, into it the righteous shall enter; and again, to what is said in the ninth psalm, You that lifts me up from the gates of death, that I may show forth all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion. The Scripture further gives the name of gates of death to those sins which lead to destruction, as it terms, on the contrary, good actions the gates of Zion. So also the gates of righteousness, which is an equivalent expression to the gates of virtue, and these are ready to be opened to him who follows after virtuous pursuits. The subject of the tree of life will be more appropriately explained when we interpret the statements in the book of Genesis regarding the paradise planted by God. Celsus, moreover, has often mocked at the subject of a resurrection, - a doctrine which he did not comprehend; and on the present occasion, not satisfied with what he has formerly said, he adds, And there is said to be a resurrection of the flesh by means of the tree; not understanding, I think, the symbolic expression, that through the tree came death, and through the tree comes life, because death was in Adam, and life in Christ. He next scoffs at the tree, assailing it on two grounds, and saying, For this reason is the tree introduced, either because our teacher was nailed to a cross, or because he was a carpenter by trade; not observing that the tree of life is mentioned in the Mosaic writings, and being blind also to this, that in none of the Gospels current in the Churches is Jesus Himself ever described as being a carpenter. 6.37. Celsus, moreover, thinks that we have invented this tree of life to give an allegorical meaning to the cross; and in consequence of his error upon this point, he adds: If he had happened to be cast down a precipice, or shoved into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, there would have been invented a precipice of life far beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality. And again: If the 'tree of life' were an invention, because he - Jesus - (is reported) to have been a carpenter, it would follow that if he had been a leather-cutter, something would have been said about holy leather; or had he been a stone-cutter, about a blessed stone; or if a worker in iron, about an iron of love. Now, who does not see at once the paltry nature of his charge, in thus calumniating men whom he professed to convert on the ground of their being deceived? And after these remarks, he goes on to speak in a way quite in harmony with the tone of those who have invented the fictions of lion-like, and ass-headed, and serpent-like ruling angels, and other similar absurdities, but which does not affect those who belong to the Church. of a truth, even a drunken old woman would be ashamed to chaunt or whisper to an infant, in order to lull him to sleep, any such fables as those have done who invented the beings with asses' heads, and the harangues, so to speak, which are delivered at each of the gates. But Celsus is not acquainted with the doctrines of the members of the Church, which very few have been able to comprehend, even of those who have devoted all their lives, in conformity with the command of Jesus, to the searching of the Scriptures, and have laboured to investigate the meaning of the sacred books, to a greater degree than Greek philosophers in their efforts to attain a so-called wisdom. 6.38. Our noble (friend), moreover, not satisfied with the objections which he has drawn from the diagram, desires, in order to strengthen his accusations against us, who have nothing in common with it, to introduce certain other charges, which he adduces from the same (heretics), but yet as if they were from a different source. His words are: And that is not the least of their marvels, for there are between the upper circles - those that are above the heavens - certain inscriptions of which they give the interpretation, and among others two words especially, 'a greater and a less,' which they refer to Father and Son. Now, in the diagram referred to, we found the greater and the lesser circle, upon the diameter of which was inscribed Father and Son; and between the greater circle (in which the lesser was contained) and another composed of two circles - the outer one of which was yellow, and the inner blue - a barrier inscribed in the shape of a hatchet. And above it, a short circle, close to the greater of the two former, having the inscription Love; and lower down, one touching the same circle, with the word Life. And on the second circle, which was intertwined with and included two other circles, another figure, like a rhomboid, (entitled) The foresight of wisdom. And within their point of common section was The nature of wisdom. And above their point of common section was a circle, on which was inscribed Knowledge; and lower down another, on which was the inscription, Understanding. We have introduced these matters into our reply to Celsus, to show to our readers that we know better than he, and not by mere report, those things, even although we also disapprove of them. Moreover, if those who pride themselves upon such matters profess also a kind of magic and sorcery - which, in their opinion, is the summit of wisdom - we, on the other hand, make no affirmation about it, seeing we never have discovered anything of the kind. Let Celsus, however, who has been already often convicted of false witness and irrational accusations, see whether he is not guilty of falsehood in these also, or whether he has not extracted and introduced into his treatise, statements taken from the writings of those who are foreigners and strangers to our Christian faith. 6.42. After these matters, Celsus brings the following charges against us from another quarter: Certain most impious errors, he says, are committed by them, due to their extreme ignorance, in which they have wandered away from the meaning of the divine enigmas, creating an adversary to God, the devil, and naming him in the Hebrew tongue, Satan. Now, of a truth, such statements are altogether of mortal invention, and not even proper to be repeated, viz., that the mighty God, in His desire to confer good upon men, has yet one counterworking Him, and is helpless. The Son of God, it follows, is vanquished by the devil; and being punished by him, teaches us also to despise the punishments which he inflicts, telling us beforehand that Satan, after appearing to men as He Himself had done, will exhibit great and marvellous works, claiming for himself the glory of God, but that those who wish to keep him at a distance ought to pay no attention to these works of Satan, but to place their faith in Him alone. Such statements are manifestly the words of a deluder, planning and manœuvring against those who are opposed to his views, and who rank themselves against them. In the next place, desiring to point out the enigmas, our mistakes regarding which lead to the introduction of our views concerning Satan, he continues: The ancients allude obscurely to a certain war among the gods, Heraclitus speaking thus of it: 'If one must say that there is a general war and discord, and that all things are done and administered in strife.' Pherecydes, again, who is much older than Heraclitus, relates a myth of one army drawn up in hostile array against another, and names Kronos as the leader of the one, and Ophioneus of the other, and recounts their challenges and struggles, and mentions that agreements were entered into between them, to the end that whichever party should fall into the ocean should be held as vanquished, while those who had expelled and conquered them should have possession of heaven. The mysteries relating to the Titans and Giants also had some such (symbolic) meaning, as well as the Egyptian mysteries of Typhon, and Horus, and Osiris. After having made such statements, and not having got over the difficulty as to the way in which these accounts contain a higher view of things, while our accounts are erroneous copies of them, he continues his abuse of us, remarking that these are not like the stories which are related of a devil, or demon, or, as he remarks with more truth, of a man who is an impostor, who wishes to establish an opposite doctrine. And in the same way he understands Homer, as if he referred obscurely to matters similar to those mentioned by Heraclitus, and Pherecydes, and the originators of the mysteries about the Titans and Giants, in those words which Heph stus addresses to Hera as follows:- Once in your cause I felt his matchless might, Hurled headlong downward from the ethereal height. And in those of Zeus to Hera:- Have you forgot, when, bound and fix'd on high, From the vast concave of the spangled sky, I hung you trembling in a golden chain, And all the raging gods opposed in vain? Headlong I hurled them from the Olympian hall, Stunn'd in the whirl, and breathless with the fall. Interpreting, moreover, the words of Homer, he adds: The words of Zeus addressed to Hera are the words of God addressed to matter; and the words addressed to matter obscurely signify that the matter which at the beginning was in a state of discord (with God), was taken by Him, and bound together and arranged under laws, which may be analogically compared to chains; and that by way of chastising the demons who create disorder in it, he hurls them down headlong to this lower world. These words of Homer, he alleges, were so understood by Pherecydes, when he said that beneath that region is the region of Tartarus, which is guarded by the Harpies and Tempest, daughters of Boreas, and to which Zeus banishes any one of the gods who becomes disorderly. With the same ideas also are closely connected the peplos of Athena, which is beheld by all in the procession of the Panathen a. For it is manifest from this, he continues, that a motherless and unsullied demon has the mastery over the daring of the Giants. While accepting, moreover, the fictions of the Greeks, he continues to heap against us such accusations as the following, viz., that the Son of God is punished by the devil, and teaches us that we also, when punished by him, ought to endure it. Now these statements are altogether ridiculous. For it is the devil, I think, who ought rather to be punished, and those human beings who are calumniated by him ought not to be threatened with chastisement. 7.28. After thus misrepresenting our views of the nature of God, Celsus goes on to ask of us where we hope to go after death; and he makes our answer to be, to another land better than this. On this he comments as follows: The divine men of a former age have spoken of a happy life reserved for the souls of the blessed. Some designated it 'the isles of the blest,' and others 'the Elysian plain,' so called because they were there to be delivered from their present evils. Thus Homer says: 'But the gods shall send you to the Elysian plain, on the borders of the earth, where they lead a most quiet life.' Plato also, who believed in the immortality of the soul, distinctly gives the name 'land' to the place where it is sent. 'The extent of it,' says he, 'is immense, and we only occupy a small portion of it, from the Phasis to the Pillars of Hercules, where we dwell along the shores of the sea, as grasshoppers and frogs beside a marsh. But there are many other places inhabited in like manner by other men. For there are in different parts of the earth cavities, varying in form and in magnitude, into which run water, and clouds, and air. But that land which is pure lies in the pure region of heaven.' Celsus therefore supposes that what we say of a land which is much better and more excellent than this, has been borrowed from certain ancient writers whom he styles divine, and chiefly from Plato, who in his Ph don discourses on the pure land lying in a pure heaven. But he does not see that Moses, who is much older than the Greek literature, introduces God as promising to those who lived according to His law the holy land, which is a good land and a large, a land flowing with milk and honey; which promise is not to be understood to refer, as some suppose, to that part of the earth which we call Judea; for it, however good it may be, still forms part of the earth, which was originally cursed for the transgression of Adam. For these words, Cursed shall the ground be for what you have done; with grief, that is, with labour, shall you eat of the fruit of it all the days of your life, were spoken of the whole earth, the fruit of which every man who died in Adam eats with sorrow or labour all the days of his life. And as all the earth has been cursed, it brings forth thorns and briers all the days of the life of those who in Adam were driven out of paradise; and in the sweat of his face every man eats bread until he returns to the ground from which he was taken. For the full exposition of all that is contained in this passage much might be said; but we have confined ourselves to these few words at present, which are intended to remove the idea, that what is said of the good land promised by God to the righteous, refers to the land of Judea. 7.32. Celsus next assails the doctrine of the resurrection, which is a high and difficult doctrine, and one which more than others requires a high and advanced degree of wisdom to set forth how worthy it is of God; and how sublime a truth it is which teaches us that there is a seminal principle lodged in that which Scripture speaks of as the tabernacle of the soul, in which the righteous do groan, being burdened, not for that they would be unclothed, but clothed upon. Celsus ridicules this doctrine because he does not understand it, and because he has learned it from ignorant persons, who were unable to support it on any reasonable grounds. It will be profitable, therefore, that in addition to what we have said above, we should make this one remark. Our teaching on the subject of the resurrection is not, as Celsus imagines, derived from anything that we have heard on the doctrine of metempsychosis; but we know that the soul, which is immaterial and invisible in its nature, exists in no material place, without having a body suited to the nature of that place. Accordingly, it at one time puts off one body which was necessary before, but which is no longer adequate in its changed state, and it exchanges it for a second; and at another time it assumes another in addition to the former, which is needed as a better covering, suited to the purer ethereal regions of heaven. When it comes into the world at birth, it casts off the integuments which it needed in the womb; and before doing this, it puts on another body suited for its life upon earth. Then, again, as there is a tabernacle and an earthly house which is in some sort necessary for this tabernacle, Scripture teaches us that the earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, but that the tabernacle shall be clothed upon with a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The men of God say also that the corruptible shall put on incorruption, which is a different thing from the incorruptible; and the mortal shall put on immortality, which is different from the immortal. Indeed, what wisdom is to the wise, and justice to the just, and peace to the peaceable, the same relation does incorruption hold to the incorruptible, and immortality to the immortal. Behold, then, to what a prospect Scripture encourages us to look, when it speaks to us of being clothed with incorruption and immortality, which are, as it were, vestments which will not suffer those who are covered with them to come to corruption or death. Thus far I have taken the liberty of referring to this subject, in answer to one who assails the doctrine of the resurrection without understanding it, and who, simply because he knew nothing about it, made it the object of contempt and ridicule. 7.40. Next to the remarks of Celsus on which we have already commented, come others which he addresses to all Christians, but which, if applicable to any, ought to be addressed to persons whose doctrines differ entirely from those taught by Jesus. For it is the Ophians who, as we have before shown, have utterly renounced Jesus, and perhaps some others of similar opinions who are the impostors and jugglers, leading men away to idols and phantoms; and it is they who with miserable pains learn off the names of the heavenly doorkeepers. These words are therefore quite inappropriate as addressed to Christians: If you seek one to be your guide along this way, you must shun all deceivers and jugglers, who will introduce you to phantoms. And, as though quite unaware that these impostors entirely agree with him, and are not behind him in speaking ill of Jesus and His religion, he thus continues, confounding us with them: otherwise you will be acting the most ridiculous part, if, while you pronounce imprecations upon those other recognised gods, treating them as idols, you yet do homage to a more wretched idol than any of these, which indeed is not even an idol or a phantom, but a dead man, and you seek a father like to himself. That he is ignorant of the wide difference between our opinions and those of the inventors of these fables, and that he imagines the charges which he makes against them applicable to us, is evident from the following passage: For the sake of such a monstrous delusion, and in support of those wonderful advisers, and those wonderful words which you address to the lion, to the amphibious creature, to the creature in the form of an ass, and to others, for the sake of those divine doorkeepers whose names you commit to memory with such pains, in such a cause as this you suffer cruel tortures, and perish at the stake. Surely, then, he is unaware that none of those who regard beings in the form of an ass, a lion, or an amphibious animal, as the doorkeepers or guides on the way to heaven, ever expose themselves to death in defense of that which they think the truth. That excess of zeal, if it may be so called, which leads us for the sake of religion to submit to every kind of death, and to perish at the stake, is ascribed by Celsus to those who endure no such sufferings; and he reproaches us who suffer crucifixion for our faith, with believing in fabulous creatures - in the lion, the amphibious animal, and other such monsters. If we reject all these fables, it is not out of deference to Celsus, for we have never at any time held any such fancies; but it is in accordance with the teaching of Jesus that we oppose all such notions, and will not allow to Michael, or to any others that have been referred to, a form and figure of that sort. 7.58. Let us now consider what follows. They have also, says he, a precept to this effect, that we ought not to avenge ourselves on one who injures us, or, as he expresses it, 'Whosoever shall strike you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.' This is an ancient saying, which had been admirably expressed long before, and which they have only reported in a coarser way. For Plato introduces Socrates conversing with Crito as follows: 'Must we never do injustice to any?' 'Certainly not.' 'And since we must never do injustice, must we not return injustice for an injustice that has been done to us, as most people think?' 'It seems to me that we should not.' 'But tell me, Crito, may we do evil to any one or not?' 'Certainly not, O Socrates.' 'Well, is it just, as is commonly said, for one who has suffered wrong to do wrong in return, or is it unjust?' 'It is unjust. Yes; for to do harm to a man is the same as to do him injustice.' 'You speak truly. We must then not do injustice in return for injustice, nor must we do evil to any one, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.' Thus Plato speaks; and he adds, 'Consider, then, whether you are at one with me, and whether, starting from this principle, we may not come to the conclusion that it is never right to do injustice, even in return for an injustice which has been received; or whether, on the other hand, you differ from me, and do not admit the principle from which we started. That has always been my opinion, and is so still.' Such are the sentiments of Plato, and indeed they were held by divine men before his time. But let this suffice as one example of the way in which this and other truths have been borrowed and corrupted. Any one who wishes can easily by searching find more of them. 8.48. In the next place, Celsus, after referring to the enthusiasm with which men will contend unto death rather than abjure Christianity, adds strangely enough some remarks, in which he wishes to show that our doctrines are similar to those delivered by the priests at the celebration of the heathen mysteries. He says, Just as you, good sir, believe in eternal punishments, so also do the priests who interpret and initiate into the sacred mysteries. The same punishments with which you threaten others, they threaten you. Now it is worthy of examination, which of the two is more firmly established as true; for both parties contend with equal assurance that the truth is on their side. But if we require proofs, the priests of the heathen gods produce many that are clear and convincing, partly from wonders performed by demons, and partly from the answers given by oracles, and various other modes of divination. He would, then, have us believe that we and the interpreters of the mysteries equally teach the doctrine of eternal punishment, and that it is a matter for inquiry on which side of the two the truth lies. Now I should say that the truth lies with those who are able to induce their hearers to live as men who are convinced of the truth of what they have heard. But Jews and Christians have been thus affected by the doctrines they hold about what we speak of as the world to come, and the rewards of the righteous, and the punishments of the wicked. Let Celsus then, or any one who will, show us who have been moved in this way in regard to eternal punishments by the teaching of heathen priests and mystagogues. For surely the purpose of him who brought to light this doctrine was not only to reason upon the subject of punishments, and to strike men with terror of them, but to induce those who heard the truth to strive with all their might against those sins which are the causes of punishment. And those who study the prophecies with care, and are not content with a cursory perusal of the predictions contained in them, will find them such as to convince the intelligent and sincere reader that the Spirit of God was in those men, and that with their writings there is nothing in all the works of demons, responses of oracles, or sayings of soothsayers, for one moment to be compared.
13. Papyri, Papyri Graecae Magicae, 4.49, 4.61, 4.488, 4.561, 4.578, 4.606-4.609, 4.659, 4.705, 4.707, 4.712, 13.24-13.26, 13.355-13.357 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

14. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 2.56 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

2.56. 56.Moreover the Phoenicians, in great calamities, either of war, or excessive dryness, or pestilence, sacrificed some one of their dearest friends, who was selected by votes for this purpose. The Phoenician history also is replete with instances of men being sacrificed, which history was written by Sanchoniatho in the Phoenician tongue, and was interpreted into Greek in eight books, by Philo Byblius. But Ister, in his collection of the Cretan sacrifices, says that the Curetes formerly sacrificed children to Saturn. And Pallas, who is the best of those who have collected what pertains to the mysteries of Mithras, says, that under the Emperor Adrian the sacrificing of men was nearly totally abolished. For, prior to his time, in Laodicea, which is in Syria, they anciently sacrificed a virgin to Minerva, but now they sacrifice a stag. The Carthaginians too, who dwell in Libya, formerly sacrificed men; but this custom was abolished by Iphicrates. And the Dumatii, a people of Arabia, annually sacrificed a boy, whom they buried under the altar, which was used by them as a statue. But Phylarchus narrates, that it was the general custom of all the Greeks, before they went to war, to immolate men. I omit to mention the Thracians and Scythians, and also the Athenians, who slew the daughter of Erechtheus and Praxithea. And even at present, who is ignorant that in the great city of Rome, in the festival of Jupiter Latialis, they cut the throat of a man? Human flesh, however, is not on this account to be eaten; though, through a certain necessity, a man should be sacrificed. For, when a famine takes place during a siege some of the besieged feed on each other, yet at the same time those who do so are deemed execrable and the deed is thought to be impious. SPAN
15. Porphyry, On The Cave of The Nymphs, 18, 20, 24, 5-6, 15 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

15. One particular, however, remains to be explained, and that is the symbol of the olive planted at the top of the cavern, since Homer appears to indicate something very admirable by giving it such a position. For he does not merely say that an olive grows in this place, but that it flourishes on the summit of the cavern. "High at the head a branching olive grows, Beneath, a gloomy grotto s cool recess.." But the growth of the olive in such a situation is not fortuitous, as some one may suspect, but contains the enigma of the cavern. For |37 since the world was not produced rashly and casually, but is the work of divine wisdom and an intellectual nature; hence an olive, the symbol of this wisdom flourishes near the present cavern, which is an image of the world. For the olive is the plant of Minerva, and Minerva is wisdom. But this Goddess being produced from the head of Jupiter, the theologist has discovered an appropriate place for the olive by consecrating it at the summit of the port; signifying by this that the universe is not the effect of a casual event and the work of irrational fortune, but that it is the offspring of an intellectual nature and divine wisdom, which is separated indeed from it (by a difference of essence), but yet is near to it, through being established on the summit of the whole port (i.e., from the dignity and excellence of its nature governing the whole with consummate wisdom). Since, however, an olive is ever-flourishing, it possesses a certain peculiarity in the highest degree adapted to the revolutions of souls in the world, for to such souls this cave (as we have said) is sacred. For in summer the white leaves of the olive tend upwards, but in winter the whiter leaves are bent downward. On |38 this account also in prayers and supplications, men extend the branches of an olive, ominating from this that they shall exchange the sorrowful darkness of danger for the fair light of security and peace. The olive, therefore being naturally ever-flourishing, bears fruit which is the auxiliary of labour (by being its reward, it is sacred to Minerva; supplies the victors in athletic labours with crowns and affords a friendly branch to the suppliant petitioner. Thus, too, the world is governed by an intellectual nature, and is conducted by a wisdom eternal and ever-flourishing; by which the rewards of victory are conferred on the conquerors in the athletic race of life, as the reward of severe toil and patient perseverance. And the Demiurgus who connects and contains the world (in ineffable comprehensions) invigorates miserable and suppliant souls.
16. Jerome, Letters, 107.2 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

17. Jerome, Letters, 107.2 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

18. Jerome, Letters, 107.2 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

19. Orphic Hymns., Fragments, 16

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alchemy Edmonds (2019) 283
aphrodite Waldner et al (2016) 210
archaeology Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157; Lipka (2021) 243
ares Waldner et al (2016) 210
aries (zodiacal sign) Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
artagnes heracles ares astronomy,astrology,and astral lore Beck (2006) 114
associations (thiasus) Belayche and Massa (2021) 115
astrology,planets Waldner et al (2016) 210
astrology,weekdays Waldner et al (2016) 210
astrology Edmonds (2019) 283
astronomy,astrology,star Lipka (2021) 243
attis Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
avesta Waldner et al (2016) 209
axioms Beck (2006) 83, 84
beliefs Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
burkert,walter Belayche and Massa (2021) 112
cave Beck (2006) 114
celsus Boulluec (2022) 481, 482; de Jáuregui (2010) 213
celsus on Ayres and Ward (2021) 61
christian discourse and practices Waldner et al (2016) 209, 210
christianism Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
christianity,christians Lipka (2021) 243
christianity Belayche and Massa (2021) 111, 112, 115
consacranei Waldner et al (2016) 209
cosmos Waldner et al (2016) 210
cult Lipka (2021) 243
cumont,franz Belayche and Massa (2021) 111
cybele Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157
day vs. night Beck (2006) 83
death Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157
demokritos Edmonds (2019) 283
dionysus de Jáuregui (2010) 213
dualism,gnostic Esler (2000) 74
east vs. west Beck (2006) 114
ebony Pinheiro Bierl and Beck (2013) 292
ecliptic Beck (2006) 114
empedocles de Jáuregui (2010) 213
epigraphy Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157
equinoxes Beck (2006) 114
eschatology Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157; de Jáuregui (2010) 213
ethos and world view,soul,descent and ascent of Beck (2006) 83, 84, 114
ethos and world view Beck (2006) 83, 84, 114
experience,post-mortality Waldner et al (2016) 210
fate Lipka (2021) 243
festival Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
frescoes Belayche and Massa (2021) 111, 115
genesis vs. apogenesis Beck (2006) 84, 114
giraldi,lilio gregorio Waldner et al (2016) 210
gnostic/ gnosticism de Jáuregui (2010) 309
gnostic traditions Esler (2000) 74
gold Edmonds (2019) 283; Pinheiro Bierl and Beck (2013) 292
grades,mithraic Beck (2006) 114
harmony Beck (2006) 83
heliodromos Belayche and Massa (2021) 115
helios Lipka (2021) 243; Waldner et al (2016) 210
heraclites Ayres and Ward (2021) 61
hermes psychopompos Waldner et al (2016) 210
hieros logos Waldner et al (2016) 210
hot vs. cold Beck (2006) 114
icon and/or mythic event Beck (2006) 114
iconography Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147
image Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
image of the cosmos Beck (2006) 114
immortality Lipka (2021) 243
immortalization Lipka (2021) 243
initiation Belayche and Massa (2021) 112; Lipka (2021) 243
interpretatio Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
jupiter Waldner et al (2016) 210
justin martyr Waldner et al (2016) 209
kelsos Waldner et al (2016) 209, 210
lion (lions) Pinheiro Bierl and Beck (2013) 292
luna Waldner et al (2016) 210
luna (mithraic) Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
macrocosm/microcosm Beck (2006) 114
magic,magical recipes Lipka (2021) 243
mars Edmonds (2019) 283
martyrs,firmicus maternus Waldner et al (2016) 209
mediterranean Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147
mercury Edmonds (2019) 283
mercury (hg) Edmonds (2019) 283
metempsychosis Waldner et al (2016) 209
mithra Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157
mithraea Esler (2000) 74
mithraeum Beck (2006) 114
mithraic Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
mithraic grades Belayche and Massa (2021) 111, 112, 115
mithraism de Jáuregui (2010) 213, 309
mithras,as archer Beck (2006) 83
mithras,as creator Beck (2006) 114
mithras,bull killing Waldner et al (2016) 209
mithras,schlangengefäß Waldner et al (2016) 209
mithras,theology Waldner et al (2016) 210
mithras Belayche and Massa (2021) 111, 112, 115; Lipka (2021) 243
mithras cult Ayres and Ward (2021) 61
mithras liturgy Lipka (2021) 243
mithrea Waldner et al (2016) 209
moguntiacum/mainz,santa maria capua vetere Waldner et al (2016) 209
moguntiacum/mainz Waldner et al (2016) 209
moon divinity Edmonds (2019) 283
mortality vs. immortality Beck (2006) 83, 84
music de Jáuregui (2010) 309
mystagogue Waldner et al (2016) 209
mysteries,hellenistic Esler (2000) 74
mysteries,mithras Esler (2000) 74
mysteries Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147, 157
myth Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82; Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
myth (mythos) Pinheiro Bierl and Beck (2013) 292
neo-platonists Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
network Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147
niche,cult- Beck (2006) 114
niches,mid-bench Beck (2006) 114
nomos de Jáuregui (2010) 309
north vs. south Beck (2006) 114
north wind vs. south wind Beck (2006) 114
northern side-bench vs. southern sidebench Beck (2006) 114
old testament,jewish scriptures Boulluec (2022) 482
olymp Waldner et al (2016) 209
ophites Boulluec (2022) 481, 482
oppositions Beck (2006) 83, 84
oracle (divine message) Lipka (2021) 243
origen,exclusive account of sects and heresy Boulluec (2022) 481, 482
origenes Waldner et al (2016) 209, 210
paganism,heresy assimilated to Boulluec (2022) 481, 482
persephone Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147
persia Waldner et al (2016) 209, 210
phercydes Ayres and Ward (2021) 61
planets,plato,cosmology and psychology of Beck (2006) 83
planets Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82; Beck (2006) 114; Edmonds (2019) 283
plato,platonic tradition Waldner et al (2016) 209, 210
plato Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
plato / (neo-)platonism de Jáuregui (2010) 213, 309
plutarch Waldner et al (2016) 209
pneuma Lipka (2021) 243
pole-lords Lipka (2021) 243
poles,celestial Beck (2006) 114
polytheism Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
porphyry Waldner et al (2016) 209
positive relationship to christianity Boulluec (2022) 481, 482
post-mortality belief,belief,mithras context Waldner et al (2016) 209, 210
pythagoras,pythagoreans Waldner et al (2016) 210
pythagoras / (neo-)pythagoreanism de Jáuregui (2010) 213
quadrants,seasonal Beck (2006) 114
reincarnation de Jáuregui (2010) 213
religion,hellenistic religions Esler (2000) 74
rhapsodies de Jáuregui (2010) 213, 309
right vs. left Beck (2006) 83, 114
ritual Beck (2006) 83; Lipka (2021) 243
rome,mithraeum of santa prisca Belayche and Massa (2021) 112, 115
rome Belayche and Massa (2021) 112, 115; Waldner et al (2016) 209
s. prisca (rome),; texts Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
salvation Beck (2006) 84; Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 147
same vs. diverent Beck (2006) 83
saturn Edmonds (2019) 283; Waldner et al (2016) 210
senses of these terms in ancient astronomy see p. Beck (2006) 114
seth-typhon Pinheiro Bierl and Beck (2013) 292
seth Esler (2000) 74
seven-gated ladder Beck (2006) 83, 84, 114
silver Edmonds (2019) 283
sol,; as cosmic emblem in mithraism Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
solstices Beck (2006) 84
soteriology Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
soul Lipka (2021) 243; Waldner et al (2016) 210
sun/sol Beck (2006) 114
sun de Jáuregui (2010) 213
symbols symbol systems/complexes Beck (2006) 83, 84, 114
tatian and celsus,,philosophical history and christian deviance,celsus on Ayres and Ward (2021) 61
tatian and celsus Ayres and Ward (2021) 61
taurobolium Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
tauroctony Belayche and Massa (2021) 112
telete de Jáuregui (2010) 213
tertullian Waldner et al (2016) 209
theology Bricault and Bonnet (2013) 157
time,; unlimited ~ Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
time Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82; Beck (2006) 114
trier Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
turcan,r. Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
ulansey,d. Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
universal vs. planetary motion Beck (2006) 83, 84, 114
venus Edmonds (2019) 283
virunum Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
voces mysticae Lipka (2021) 243
way in vs. way out Beck (2006) 83, 84
wise and the vulgar initiation,rites of Beck (2006) 83
wxed stars vs. planets Beck (2006) 83, 84
zeus de Jáuregui (2010) 213, 309
zodiac Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
zodiac and signs of the' Beck (2006) 114
zoroastrianism Alvar Ezquerra (2008) 82
zosimus Edmonds (2019) 283
ἀπατεών Boulluec (2022) 482
ἀσεβής Boulluec (2022) 482