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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9219
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 96


nanAnd if any one of the beasts, to be sacrificed, is found to be not perfect and entire, it is driven out of the sacred precincts, and is not allowed to be brought to the altar, even though all these corporeal imperfections are quite involuntary on its part; but though they may themselves be wounded in their souls by sensible diseases, which the invincible power of wickedness has inflicted on them, or though, I might rather say, they are mutilated and curtailed of their fairest proportions, of prudence, and courage, and justice, piety, and of all the other virtues which the human race is naturally formed to possess, and although too they have contracted all this pollution and mutilation of their own free will, they nevertheless dare to perform sacrifices, thinking that the eye of God sees external objects alone, when the sun co-operates and throws light upon them, and that it cannot discern what is invisible in preference to what is visible, using itself as its own light.


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

21 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 2.7 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2.7. וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה׃ 2.7. Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
2. Plato, Phaedrus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

246a. that that which moves itself is nothing else than the soul,—then the soul would necessarily be ungenerated and immortal. Concerning the immortality of the soul this is enough; but about its form we must speak in the following manner. To tell what it really is would be a matter for utterly superhuman and long discourse, but it is within human power to describe it briefly in a figure; let us therefore speak in that way. We will liken the soul to the composite nature of a pair of winged horses and a charioteer. Now the horses and charioteers of the gods are all good and
3. Demosthenes, Orations, 18.296 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Septuagint, Wisdom of Solomon, 7.26 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

7.26. For she is a reflection of eternal light,a spotless mirror of the working of God,and an image of his goodness.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 119 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

119. This then is sufficient to say by way of a literal explanation of this account; we must now speak of that which may be given if the story be looked at as figurative and symbolical. The things which are expressed by the voice are the signs of those things which are conceived in the mind alone; when, therefore, the soul is shone upon by God as if at noonday, and when it is wholly and entirely filled with that light which is appreciable only by the intellect, and by being wholly surrounded with its brilliancy is free from all shade or darkness, it then perceives a threefold image of one subject, one image of the living God, and others of the other two, as if they were shadows irradiated by it. And some such thing as this happens to those who dwell in that light which is perceptible by the outward senses, for whether people are standing still or in motion, there is often a double shadow falling from them.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Eternity of The World, 49 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

49. for how could it be said that he who had suffered no mutilation whatever, namely Theon, was taken off, and that Dion, who had lost a foot, was not injured? Very appropriately, he will reply, for Dion, who had had his foot cut off, falls back upon the original imperfection of Theon, and there cannot be two specific differences in the same subject, therefore it follows of necessity that Dion must remain, and that Theon must be taken off-- "So are we slain by arrows winged With our own Feathers," as the tragic poet says. For any one, copying the form of this argument and adapting it to the entire world, may prove in the clearest manner that providence itself is liable to corruption.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 91-95, 97, 90 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

90. Since therefore it is naturally the case that things, which are changed, are changed in consequence of fatigue, and since God is subject to no variation and to no change, he must also by nature be free from fatigue, and that, which has no participation in weakness, even though it moves everything, cannot possibly cease to enjoy rest for ever. So that rest is the appropriate attribute of God alone. XXVII. And it has been shown that it is suitable to his character to keep festival; sabbaths therefore and festivals belong to the great Cause of all things alone, and absolutely to no man whatever. 90. Will you then, without shame call upon God, the father and sovereign of the world, to give his testimony in favour of those things, to witness which you will not venture even to bring your friend? And if you do so, will you do it knowing that he sees everything and hears everything, or not knowing this fact?
8. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 17 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

17. And the expression used by the writer of the psalm, in the following verse, testifies to the truth of my assertion, for he says, "He sent upon them the fury of His wrath, anger, and rage, and affliction, and he sent evil angels among Them." These are the wicked who, assuming the name of angels, not being acquainted with the daughters of right reason, that is with the sciences and the virtues, but which pursue the mortal descendants of mortal men, that is the pleasures, which can confer no genuine beauty, which is perceived by the intellect alone, but only a bastard sort of elegance of form, by means of which the outward sense is beguiled;
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 5, 4 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

4. for besides this, those things which it is only the eyes of the body that see, are only seen by them because they take light as a coadjutor, and light is different, both from the object seen and from the things which see it. But all these things which the soul sees of itself, and through its own power, it sees without the cooperation of any thing or any one else; for the things which the soul does thus comprehend are a light to themselves
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 135, 146, 71, 128 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

128. These things, and more still are said in a philosophical spirit about the number seven, on account of which it has received the highest honours, in the highest nature. And it is honoured by those of the highest reputation among both Greeks and barbarians, who devote themselves to mathematical sciences. It was also greatly honoured by Moses, a man much attached to excellence of all sorts, who described its beauty on the most holy pillars of the law, and wrote it in the hearts of all those who were subject to him, commanding them at the end of each period of six days to keep the seventh holy; abstaining from all other works which are done in the seeking after and providing the means of life, devoting that day to the single object of philosophizing with a view to the improvement of their morals, and the examination of their consciences: for conscience being seated in the soul as a judge, is not afraid to reprove men, sometimes employing pretty vehement threats; at other times by milder admonitions, using threats in regard to matters where men appear to be disobedient, of deliberate purpose, and admonitions when their offences seem involuntary, through want of foresight, in order to prevent their hereafter offending in a similar manner. XLIV.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Posterity of Cain, 58, 57 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

57. But On is said to be a hill, and it means, symbolically, the mind; for all reasonings are stored up in the mind: and the lawgiver himself is a witness of this, calling On, Heliopolis, the city of the sun. For as the sun, when he rises, shows visibly the things which have been hidden by night, so also the mind, sending forth its own proper light, causes all bodies and all things to be seen visibly at a distance.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.84, 2.95 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.84. Therefore, being pricked with goads, and flogged, and mutilated, and suffering all the cruelties which can be inflicted in an inhuman and pitiless manner before death, all together, they are led away to execution and put to death. XIII. 2.95. And, indeed, this is the natural state of the case. For when right reason is powerful in the soul, vain opinion is put down; but when right reason is weak, vain opinion is strong. As long, therefore, as the soul has its own power still safe, and as long as it is not mutilated in any part of it, it may well have confidence to attack and aim its arrows at the pride which resists it, and it may indulge in freedom of speech, saying, "You shall not be a king, you shall not be a lord either over us, or during our lifetime over others;
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.3, 1.9, 1.47, 1.80, 1.190-1.193, 2.245, 3.179 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.3. In consequence of which it would be most fitting for men to discard childish ridicule, and to investigate the real causes of the ordice with more prudence and dignity, considering the reasons why the custom has prevailed, and not being precipitate, so as without examination to condemn the folly of mighty nations, recollecting that it is not probable that so many myriads should be circumcised in every generation, mutilating the bodies of themselves and of their nearest relations, in a manner which is accompanied with severe pain, without adequate cause; but that there are many reasons which might encourage men to persevere and continue a custom which has been introduced by previous generations, and that these are from reasons of the greatest weight and importance. 1.9. First of all, it is a symbol of the excision of the pleasures which delude the mind; for since, of all the delights which pleasure can afford, the association of man with woman is the most exquisite, it seemed good to the lawgivers to mutilate the organ which ministers to such connections; by which rite they signified figuratively the excision of all superfluous and excessive pleasure, not, indeed, of one only, but of all others whatever, though that one which is the most imperious of all. 1.47. And though they are by nature incomprehensible in their essence, still they show a kind of impression or copy of their energy and operation; as seals among you, when any wax or similar kind of material is applied to them, make an innumerable quantity of figures and impressions, without being impaired as to any portion of themselves, but still remaining unaltered and as they were before; so also you must conceive that the powers which are around me invest those things which have no distinctive qualities with such qualities, and those which have no forms with precise forms, and that without having any portion of their own everlasting nature dismembered or weakened. 1.80. Now these are the laws which relate to the priests. It is enjoined that the priest shall be entire and unmutilated, having no blemish on his body, no part being deficient, either naturally or through mutilation; and on the other hand, nothing having been superfluous either from his birth or having grown out subsequently from disease; his skin, also, must never have changed from leprosy, or wild lichen, or scab, or any other eruption or breaking out; all which things appear to me to be designed to be symbols of the purity of his soul. 1.190. The sacrifices which are whole burnt offerings and are joint offerings on behalf of the nation or--to speak more accurately--on behalf of the entire race of humanity have been addressed to the best of my ability. However, a he-goat accompanies the whole burnt offerings on each day of the feast. He is called "concerning sins" and is sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins. His meat is Distributed{25}{although S. Daniel included a negative in her edition (PAPM 24 1.191. What is the reason for this? Is it because a feast is a time of good cheer, and undeceiving and true good cheer is good sense firmly established in the soul, and this unwavering good sense is impossible to receive without a cure from sins and cutting off of the passions? For it would be out of place if each of the animals of the whole burnt offerings is sacrificed only when it is found undamaged and unhurt, but the mind of the sacrificer has not been purified in every way and cleansed by making use of washings and lustrations which the right reason of nature pours into God-loving souls through healthy and uncorrupt ears. 1.192. In addition the following ought to be said. These festal and holiday rests have in the past often opened up countless avenues to sins. For unmixed beverage and luxurious diets with excessive drinking arouse the insatiable desires of the stomach and also kindle the desires of the parts beneath the stomach. As these desires both flow and stream out in every way, they produce a surge of unspeakable evils using the fearless stimulant of the feast as a refuge to avoid suffering anything. 1.193. Knowing these things, he did not allow them to celebrate a feast in the same way as other peoples, but at the very time of good cheer he first commanded that they purify themselves by bridling the impulses of pleasure. Then he summoned them into the temple for participation in hymns and prayers and sacrifices so that both from the place and from the things seen and said through the most powerful of senses, sight and hearing, they might come to love self-control and piety. Last of all, he reminded them not to sin through the sacrifice for sin. For the one who is asking for anmesty for the sins he has committed is not so dominated by evil that at the very time he is asking for release from old wrongs he should begin other new ones.XXXVI. 3.179. Very naturally, therefore, the law Commands{17}{#de 25:12.} that the executioner should cut off the hand of the woman which has laid hold of what it should not, speaking figuratively, and intimating not that the body shall be mutilated, being deprived of its most important part, but rather that it is proper to extirpate all the ungodly reasonings of the soul, using all things which are created as a stepping-stone; for the things which the woman is forbidden to take hold of are the symbols of procreation and generation.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

12. for these last see only the surfaces of the things presented to them, and require light from without to enable them to do that, but the intellect penetrates into the inmost recesses of bodies, closely surveying and investigating the whole of them, and each separate part, and also the natures of those incorporeal things, which the external senses are unable to contemplate at all. For the mind may almost be said to possess all the acuteness of vision of the eye, without being in need of any spurious light, but being in itself a star, and as it were a sort of representation or copy of the heavenly bodies:
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 44 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

44. Therefore those persons who a little while before came safe and sound to the banquet, and in friendship for one another, do presently afterwards depart in hostility and mutilated in their bodies. And some of these men stand in need of advocates and judges, and others require surgeons and physicians, and the help which may be received from them.
16. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.12. But that he himself is the most admirable of all the lawgivers who have ever lived in any country either among the Greeks or among the barbarians, and that his are the most admirable of all laws, and truly divine, omitting no one particular which they ought to comprehend, there is the clearest proof possible in this fact, the laws of other lawgivers
17. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 90, 118 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

118. This rock, Moses, in another place, using a synonymous expression, calls manna the most ancient word of God, by which appellation is understood, something of the most general possible nature, from which two cakes are made, one of honey and the other of oil, that is to say, two different systems of life, exceedingly difficult to distinguish from one another, both worthy of attention, at the very beginning instilling the sweetness of these contemplations which exist in the sciences, and again emitting the most brilliant light to those who take hold of the things which are the objects of their desire, not fastidiously, but firmly, and scarcely by means of unremitting and incessant perseverance. These then, as I have said before, are they who ascend up upon the strength of the earth. XXXII.
18. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 3, 45-46, 58, 66, 78, 96, 135 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

135. but when the real priest, conviction, enters our hearts, like a most pure ray of light, then we think that the designs which we have cherished within our souls are not pure, and we see that our actions are liable to blame, and deserving of reproach, though we did them through ignorance of what was right. All these things, therefore, the priest, that is to say, conviction, pollutes, and orders that they should be taken away and stripped off, in order that he may see the abode of the soul pure, 35 and, if there are any diseases in it, that he may heal them. XXIX.
19. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 74-76, 73 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

73. And all Greece and all the land of the barbarians is a witness of this; for in the one country flourished those who are truly called "the seven wise men," though others had flourished before them, and have also in all probability lived since their time. But their memory, though they are now very ancient, has nevertheless not been effaced by the lapse of ages, while of others who are more modern, the names have been lost through the neglect of their contemporaries.
20. Strabo, Geography, 17.1.27 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

17.1.27. There also are the city Bubastus and the Bubastite Nome, and above it the Heliopolite Nome. There too is Heliopolis, situated upon a large mound. It contains a temple of the sun, and the ox Mneyis, which is kept in a sanctuary, and is regarded by the inhabitants as a god, as Apis is regarded by the people of Memphis. In front of the mound are lakes, into which the neighbouring canal discharges itself. At present the city is entirely deserted. It has an ancient temple constructed after the Egyptian manner, bearing many proofs of the madness and sacrilegious acts of Cambyses, who did very great injury to the temples, partly by fire, partly by violence, mutilating [in some] cases, and applying fire [in others]. In this manner he injured the obelisks, two of which, that were not entirely spoilt, were transported to Rome. There are others both here and at Thebes, the present Diospolis, some of which are standing, much corroded by fire, and others lying on the ground.
21. Plotinus, Enneads, 1.1.12, 4.8.5 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
angels Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282
apaugasma (ἀπαύγασμα) Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 285
apospasma (ἀπόσπασμα) Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 285
aristotle, de anima Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282
asia/asians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
athenaeus (author), formulae of expression Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athenaeus (author), motion, verbs of Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athenaeus (author), primacy claimed in Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athenaeus (author) Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
athens/athenians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
barbarians/barbarity, jews as Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
barbarians/barbarity, philo on Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
barbarians/barbarity, praise accorded to Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
castration Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
clement of alexandria Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
conversion Marcar, Divine Regeneration and Ethnic Identity in 1 Peter: Mapping Metaphors of Family, Race, and Nation (2022) 166
creation Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 285
depilation/shaving Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
earth Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282
egyptians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
eunuchs Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
europe/europeans Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
galen (medicus) Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
greece/hellas Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
greeks/hellenes, shared characteristics with barbarians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
immortal(ity) Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282, 285
jews/judeans/ioudaioi, as compared with greeks and barbarians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
lydians Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
meat-eating / feast / meal, sacrifice and/as Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 121
medes Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
mutilation Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
persia/persians/iran Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
philo Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
philo judeas Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282, 285
plotinus Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282
reason/rational Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282, 285
sacrifice, animal, comparison between greek and jewish Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 121
sacrifice, animal, in judaism v, vi Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 121
scythians Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237; Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
soul; Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 282, 285
sparta/spartans Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
syria/syrians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 36
tarentines Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237
virtue' Frey and Levison, The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity Multidisciplinary Perspectives (2014) 285
women Gorman, Gorman, Corrupting Luxury in Ancient Greek Literature (2014) 237