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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Philo Of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 21

nanNow this class of persons may be met with in many places, for it was fitting that both Greece and the country of the barbarians should partake of whatever is perfectly good; and there is the greatest number of such men in Egypt, in every one of the districts, or nomi as they are called, and especially around Alexandria;

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1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 14.28, 15.20-15.21 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

14.28. וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּיִם וַיְכַסּוּ אֶת־הָרֶכֶב וְאֶת־הַפָּרָשִׁים לְכֹל חֵיל פַּרְעֹה הַבָּאִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם בַּיָּם לֹא־נִשְׁאַר בָּהֶם עַד־אֶחָד׃ 15.21. וַתַּעַן לָהֶם מִרְיָם שִׁירוּ לַיהוָה כִּי־גָאֹה גָּאָה סוּס וְרֹכְבוֹ רָמָה בַיָּם׃ 14.28. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, even all the host of Pharaoh that went in after them into the sea; there remained not so much as one of them." 15.20. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances." 15.21. And Miriam sang unto them: Sing ye to the LORD, for He is highly exalted: The horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea."
2. Hebrew Bible, Micah, 6.4 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

6.4. כִּי הֶעֱלִתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתִיךָ וָאֶשְׁלַח לְפָנֶיךָ אֶת־מֹשֶׁה אַהֲרֹן וּמִרְיָם׃ 6.4. For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, And redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, And I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam."
3. Hebrew Bible, Numbers, 20.1, 26.59 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

20.1. וַיַּקְהִלוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶת־הַקָּהָל אֶל־פְּנֵי הַסָּלַע וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שִׁמְעוּ־נָא הַמֹּרִים הֲמִן־הַסֶּלַע הַזֶּה נוֹצִיא לָכֶם מָיִם׃ 20.1. וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־הָעֵדָה מִדְבַּר־צִן בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם בְּקָדֵשׁ וַתָּמָת שָׁם מִרְיָם וַתִּקָּבֵר שָׁם׃ 26.59. וְשֵׁם אֵשֶׁת עַמְרָם יוֹכֶבֶד בַּת־לֵוִי אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה אֹתָהּ לְלֵוִי בְּמִצְרָיִם וַתֵּלֶד לְעַמְרָם אֶת־אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת־מֹשֶׁה וְאֵת מִרְיָם אֲחֹתָם׃ 20.1. And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there." 26.59. And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister."
4. Anon., 1 Enoch, 38-71, 37 (3rd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

37. The second vision which he saw, the vision of wisdom -which Enoch the son of Jared, the son,of Mahalalel, the son of Cai, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, saw. And this is the beginning of the words of wisdom which I lifted up my voice to speak and say to those which dwell on earth: Hear, ye men of old time, and see, ye that come after, the words of the Holy,One which I will speak before the Lord of Spirits. It were better to declare (them only) to the men of old time, but even from those that come after we will not withhold the beginning of wisdom.,Till the present day such wisdom has never been given by the Lord of Spirits as I have received according to my insight, according to the good pleasure of the Lord of Spirits by whom the lot of,eternal life has been given to me. Now three Parables were imparted to me, and I lifted up my voice and recounted them to those that dwell on the earth.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 52-53, 271 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

271. Those men, therefore, who have spent a long life in that existence which is in accordance with the body, apart from all virtue, we must call only long-lived children, having never been instructed in those branches of education which befit grey hairs. But the man who has been a lover of prudence, and wisdom, and faith in God, one may justly denominate an elder, forming his name by a slight change from the first.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 56 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

7. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 43-44, 30 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

30. But when he comes to that which is the peculiar attribute of the creature, he says, with the most perfect correctness, "I will go down with you;" for change of place is adapted to you: so that no one shall go down with me, for in me there is no changing; but whatever is consistent with me, that is to say, with rest, shall stand. And with those who go down in such a manner as to change their place (for change of place is akin to and closely connected with them), I will go down also, not indeed changing my situation as to its actual place, inasmuch as I fill every place with myself.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.54 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1.54. And why, while walking upon the earth do you soar above the clouds? And why, while rooted in the solid land, do you affirm that you can reach the things in the sky? And why do you endeavour to form conjectures about matters which cannot be ascertained by conjecture? And why do you busy yourself about sublime subjects which you ought not to meddle with? And why do you extend your desire to make discoveries in mathematical science as far as the heaven? And why do you devote yourself to astronomy, and talk about nothing but high subjects? My good man, do not trouble your head about things beyond the ocean, but attend only to what is near you; and be content rather to examine yourself without flattery.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 11-19, 2, 20, 22-90, 1 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1. Having mentioned the Essenes, who in all respects selected for their admiration and for their especial adoption the practical course of life, and who excel in all, or what perhaps may be a less unpopular and invidious thing to say, in most of its parts, I will now proceed, in the regular order of my subject, to speak of those who have embraced the speculative life, and I will say what appears to me to be desirable to be said on the subject, not drawing any fictitious statements from my own head for the sake of improving the appearance of that side of the question which nearly all poets and essayists are much accustomed to do in the scarcity of good actions to extol, but with the greatest simplicity adhering strictly to the truth itself, to which I know well that even the most eloquent men do not keep close in their speeches. Nevertheless we must make the endeavour and labour to attain to this virtue; for it is not right that the greatness of the virtue of the men should be a cause of silence to those who do not think it right that anything which is creditable should be suppressed in silence;
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.175 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1.175. Thus he spoke to them while yet standing still. But after a short time he became inspired by God, and being full of the divine spirit and under the influence of that spirit which was accustomed to enter into him, he prophesied and animated them thus: "This army which you behold so splendidly equipped with arms, you shall no more see arrayed against you; for it shall fall, utterly and completely overthrown, so that not a relic shall be seen any more upon the earth, and that not at any distance of time, but this very next night.
11. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 44-48, 7, 43 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

43. what then did the governor of the country do? Knowing that the city had two classes of inhabitants, our own nation and the people of the country, and that the whole of Egypt was inhabited in the same manner, and that Jews who inhabited Alexandria and the rest of the country from the Catabathmos on the side of Libya to the boundaries of Ethiopia were not less than a million of men; and that the attempts which were being made were directed against the whole nation, and that it was a most mischievous thing to distress the ancient hereditary customs of the land; he, disregarding all these considerations, permitted the mob to proceed with the erection of the statues, though he might have given them a vast number of admonitory precepts instead of any such permission, either commanding them as their governor, or advising them as their friend. VII.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 215-216, 281-283, 330, 214 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

214. He also gave a thought to the circumstances of the nation itself, to its exceeding populousness, so that it was not contained as every other nation was by the circuit of the one region which was allotted to it for itself, but so that, I may almost say, it had spread over the whole face of the earth; for it is diffused throughout every continent, and over every island, so that everywhere it appears but little inferior in number to the original native population of the country.
13. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.100-3.102 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

14. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 97, 226 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

226. This other point also is too important to deserve to be passed over in silence: that, as there are three vessels among the sacred furniture, a candlestick, a bath, and an altar of incense; the altar of incense has reference to that gratitude which is exhibited for the bestowal of the elements, as has been shown before, since it does itself also receive a portion from these four, receiving wood from the earth, and the species which are burnt from the water; for, being first of all liquefied, they are dissolved into drops of moisture, and vapour from the air, and form the fire the spark which kindles the whole; and the composition of frankincense, and galbanum, and onycha, and stacte, is a symbol of the four elements; and the table is referred to the gratitude which is displayed for the mortal things which are made out of the elements, for loaves and libations are placed upon it, which the creatures who stand in need of nourishment must of necessity use. And the candlestick has reference to the gratitude exhibited for all the things existing in heaven, in order than no portion of the world may lie under the imputation of ingratitude; but that we may see that every single part of it gives thanks, the elements, the things made of them, and not those only which are made on earth, but also those in heaven. XLVII.
15. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 139 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

139. On which account Moses, after he had previously mentioned with respect to Enos that "he hoped to call upon the name of the Lord his God," adds in express words, "This is the book of the generation of Men;" speaking with perfect correctness: for it is written in the book of God that man is the only creature with a good hope. So that arguing by contraries, he who has no good hope is not a man. The definition, therefore, of our concrete being is that it is a living rational mortal being; but the definition of man, according to Moses, is a disposition of the soul hoping in the truly living God.
16. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 74-97, 73 (1st cent. BCE - missingth 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.
17. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 13.298, 18.18-18.22, 18.259, 19.276, 20.100 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

13.298. And concerning these things it is that great disputes and differences have arisen among them, while the Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees have the multitude on their side. But about these two sects, and that of the Essenes, I have treated accurately in the second book of Jewish affairs. 18.18. 5. The doctrine of the Essenes is this: That all things are best ascribed to God. They teach the immortality of souls, and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for; 18.18. Now Antonia was greatly esteemed by Tiberius on all accounts, from the dignity of her relation to him, who had been his brother Drusus’s wife, and from her eminent chastity; for though she was still a young woman, she continued in her widowhood, and refused all other matches, although Augustus had enjoined her to be married to somebody else; yet did she all along preserve her reputation free from reproach. 18.19. and when they send what they have dedicated to God into the temple, they do not offer sacrifices because they have more pure lustrations of their own; on which account they are excluded from the common court of the temple, but offer their sacrifices themselves; yet is their course of life better than that of other men; and they entirely addict themselves to husbandry. 18.19. But when Caesar had gone round the hippodrome, he found Agrippa standing: “For certain,” said he, “Macro, this is the man I meant to have bound;” and when he still asked, “Which of these is to be bound?” he said “Agrippa.” 18.21. and neither marry wives, nor are desirous to keep servants; as thinking the latter tempts men to be unjust, and the former gives the handle to domestic quarrels; but as they live by themselves, they minister one to another. 18.21. that it turned greatly to the advantage of his son among all; and, among others, the soldiery were so peculiarly affected to him, that they reckoned it an eligible thing, if need were, to die themselves, if he might but attain to the government. 18.22. They also appoint certain stewards to receive the incomes of their revenues, and of the fruits of the ground; such as are good men and priests, who are to get their corn and their food ready for them. They none of them differ from others of the Essenes in their way of living, but do the most resemble those Dacae who are called Polistae [dwellers in cities]. 18.22. and I desire thee never to be unmindful when thou comest to it, either of my kindness to thee, who set thee in so high a dignity 18.259. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be. But Philo, the principal of the Jewish embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander the alabarch, and one not unskillful in philosophy, was ready to betake himself to make his defense against those accusations; 19.276. he also took away from Antiochus that kingdom which he was possessed of, but gave him a certain part of Cilicia and Commagena: he also set Alexander Lysimachus, the alabarch, at liberty, who had been his old friend, and steward to his mother Antonia, but had been imprisoned by Caius, whose son [Marcus] married Bernice, the daughter of Agrippa.
18. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 2.119-2.161, 7.420-7.436 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.119. 2. For there are three philosophical sects among the Jews. The followers of the first of which are the Pharisees; of the second, the Sadducees; and the third sect, which pretends to a severer discipline, are called Essenes. These last are Jews by birth, and seem to have a greater affection for one another than the other sects have. 2.121. They do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard against the lascivious behavior of women, and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man. 2.122. 3. These men are despisers of riches, and so very communicative as raises our admiration. Nor is there anyone to be found among them who hath more than another; for it is a law among them, that those who come to them must let what they have be common to the whole order,—insomuch that among them all there is no appearance of poverty, or excess of riches, but every one’s possessions are intermingled with every other’s possessions; and so there is, as it were, one patrimony among all the brethren. 2.123. They think that oil is a defilement; and if anyone of them be anointed without his own approbation, it is wiped off his body; for they think to be sweaty is a good thing, as they do also to be clothed in white garments. They also have stewards appointed to take care of their common affairs, who every one of them have no separate business for any, but what is for the use of them all. 2.124. 4. They have no one certain city, but many of them dwell in every city; and if any of their sect come from other places, what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own; and they go in to such as they never knew before, as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them. 2.125. For which reason they carry nothing at all with them when they travel into remote parts, though still they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves. Accordingly, there is, in every city where they live, one appointed particularly to take care of strangers, and to provide garments and other necessaries for them. 2.126. But the habit and management of their bodies is such as children use who are in fear of their masters. Nor do they allow of the change of garments, or of shoes, till they be first entirely torn to pieces or worn out by time. 2.127. Nor do they either buy or sell anything to one another; but every one of them gives what he hath to him that wanteth it, and receives from him again in lieu of it what may be convenient for himself; and although there be no requital made, they are fully allowed to take what they want of whomsoever they please. 2.128. 5. And as for their piety towards God, it is very extraordinary; for before sunrising they speak not a word about profane matters, but put up certain prayers which they have received from their forefathers, as if they made a supplication for its rising. 2.129. After this every one of them are sent away by their curators, to exercise some of those arts wherein they are skilled, in which they labor with great diligence till the fifth hour. After which they assemble themselves together again into one place; and when they have clothed themselves in white veils, they then bathe their bodies in cold water. And after this purification is over, they every one meet together in an apartment of their own, into which it is not permitted to any of another sect to enter; while they go, after a pure manner, into the dining-room, as into a certain holy temple 2.131. but a priest says grace before meat; and it is unlawful for anyone to taste of the food before grace be said. The same priest, when he hath dined, says grace again after meat; and when they begin, and when they end, they praise God, as he that bestows their food upon them; after which they lay aside their [white] garments, and betake themselves to their labors again till the evening; 2.132. then they return home to supper, after the same manner; and if there be any strangers there, they sit down with them. Nor is there ever any clamor or disturbance to pollute their house, but they give every one leave to speak in their turn; 2.133. which silence thus kept in their house appears to foreigners like some tremendous mystery; the cause of which is that perpetual sobriety they exercise, and the same settled measure of meat and drink that is allotted to them, and that such as is abundantly sufficient for them. 2.134. 6. And truly, as for other things, they do nothing but according to the injunctions of their curators; only these two things are done among them at everyone’s own free will, which are to assist those that want it, and to show mercy; for they are permitted of their own accord to afford succor to such as deserve it, when they stand in need of it, and to bestow food on those that are in distress; but they cannot give any thing to their kindred without the curators. 2.135. They dispense their anger after a just manner, and restrain their passion. They are eminent for fidelity, and are the ministers of peace; whatsoever they say also is firmer than an oath; but swearing is avoided by them, and they esteem it worse than perjury for they say that he who cannot be believed without [swearing by] God is already condemned. 2.136. They also take great pains in studying the writings of the ancients, and choose out of them what is most for the advantage of their soul and body; and they inquire after such roots and medicinal stones as may cure their distempers. 2.137. 7. But now, if anyone hath a mind to come over to their sect, he is not immediately admitted, but he is prescribed the same method of living which they use, for a year, while he continues excluded; and they give him also a small hatchet, and the fore-mentioned girdle, and the white garment. 2.138. And when he hath given evidence, during that time, that he can observe their continence, he approaches nearer to their way of living, and is made a partaker of the waters of purification; yet is he not even now admitted to live with them; for after this demonstration of his fortitude, his temper is tried two more years; and if he appear to be worthy, they then admit him into their society. 2.139. And before he is allowed to touch their common food, he is obliged to take tremendous oaths, that, in the first place, he will exercise piety towards God, and then that he will observe justice towards men, and that he will do no harm to any one, either of his own accord, or by the command of others; that he will always hate the wicked, and be assistant to the righteous; 2.141. that he will be perpetually a lover of truth, and propose to himself to reprove those that tell lies; that he will keep his hands clear from theft, and his soul from unlawful gains; and that he will neither conceal anything from those of his own sect, nor discover any of their doctrines to others, no, not though anyone should compel him so to do at the hazard of his life. 2.142. Moreover, he swears to communicate their doctrines to no one any otherwise than as he received them himself; that he will abstain from robbery, and will equally preserve the books belonging to their sect, and the names of the angels [or messengers]. These are the oaths by which they secure their proselytes to themselves. 2.143. 8. But for those that are caught in any heinous sins, they cast them out of their society; and he who is thus separated from them does often die after a miserable manner; for as he is bound by the oath he hath taken, and by the customs he hath been engaged in, he is not at liberty to partake of that food that he meets with elsewhere, but is forced to eat grass, and to famish his body with hunger, till he perish; 2.144. for which reason they receive many of them again when they are at their last gasp, out of compassion to them, as thinking the miseries they have endured till they came to the very brink of death to be a sufficient punishment for the sins they had been guilty of. 2.145. 9. But in the judgments they exercise they are most accurate and just, nor do they pass sentence by the votes of a court that is fewer than a hundred. And as to what is once determined by that number, it is unalterable. What they most of all honor, after God himself, is the name of their legislator [Moses], whom, if anyone blaspheme, he is punished capitally. 2.146. They also think it a good thing to obey their elders, and the major part. Accordingly, if ten of them be sitting together, no one of them will speak while the other nine are against it. 2.147. They also avoid spitting in the midst of them, or on the right side. Moreover, they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not remove any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon. 2.148. Nay, on theother days they dig a small pit, a foot deep, with a paddle (which kind of hatchet is given them when they are first admitted among them); and covering themselves round with their garment, that they may not affront the Divine rays of light, they ease themselves into that pit 2.149. after which they put the earth that was dug out again into the pit; and even this they do only in the more lonely places, which they choose out for this purpose; and although this easement of the body be natural, yet it is a rule with them to wash themselves after it, as if it were a defilement to them. 2.151. They are long-lived also, insomuch that many of them live above a hundred years, by means of the simplicity of their diet; nay, as I think, by means of the regular course of life they observe also. They condemn the miseries of life, and are above pain, by the generosity of their mind. And as for death, if it will be for their glory, they esteem it better than living always; 2.152. and indeed our war with the Romans gave abundant evidence what great souls they had in their trials, wherein, although they were tortured and distorted, burnt and torn to pieces, and went through all kinds of instruments of torment, that they might be forced either to blaspheme their legislator, or to eat what was forbidden them, yet could they not be made to do either of them, no, nor once to flatter their tormentors, or to shed a tear; 2.153. but they smiled in their very pains, and laughed those to scorn who inflicted the torments upon them, and resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again. 2.154. 11. For their doctrine is this: That bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue forever; and that they come out of the most subtile air, and are united to their bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; 2.155. but that when they are set free from the bonds of the flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward. And this is like the opinions of the Greeks, that good souls have their habitations beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain or snow, or with intense heat, but that this place is such as is refreshed by the gentle breathing of a west wind, that is perpetually blowing from the ocean; while they allot to bad souls a dark and tempestuous den, full of never-ceasing punishments. 2.156. And indeed the Greeks seem to me to have followed the same notion, when they allot the islands of the blessed to their brave men, whom they call heroes and demigods; and to the souls of the wicked, the region of the ungodly, in Hades, where their fables relate that certain persons, such as Sisyphus, and Tantalus, and Ixion, and Tityus, are punished; which is built on this first supposition, that souls are immortal; and thence are those exhortations to virtue, and dehortations from wickedness collected; 2.157. whereby good men are bettered in the conduct of their life by the hope they have of reward after their death; and whereby the vehement inclinations of bad men to vice are restrained, by the fear and expectation they are in, that although they should lie concealed in this life, they should suffer immortal punishment after their death. 2.158. These are the Divine doctrines of the Essenes about the soul, which lay an unavoidable bait for such as have once had a taste of their philosophy. 2.159. 12. There are also those among them who undertake to foretell things to come, by reading the holy books, and using several sorts of purifications, and being perpetually conversant in the discourses of the prophets; and it is but seldom that they miss in their predictions. 2.161. However, they try their spouses for three years; and if they find that they have their natural purgations thrice, as trials that they are likely to be fruitful, they then actually marry them. But they do not use to accompany with their wives when they are with child, as a demonstration that they do not marry out of regard to pleasure, but for the sake of posterity. Now the women go into the baths with some of their garments on, as the men do with somewhat girded about them. And these are the customs of this order of Essenes. 7.421. who having in suspicion the restless temper of the Jews for innovation, and being afraid lest they should get together again, and persuade some others to join with them, gave orders to Lupus to demolish that Jewish temple which was in the region called Onion 7.422. and was in Egypt, which was built and had its denomination from the occasion following: 7.423. Onias, the son of Simon, one of the Jewish high priests, fled from Antiochus the king of Syria, when he made war with the Jews, and came to Alexandria; and as Ptolemy received him very kindly, on account of his hatred to Antiochus, he assured him, that if he would comply with his proposal, he would bring all the Jews to his assistance; 7.424. and when the king agreed to do it so far as he was able, he desired him to give him leave to build a temple somewhere in Egypt, and to worship God according to the customs of his own country; 7.425. for that the Jews would then be so much readier to fight against Antiochus who had laid waste the temple at Jerusalem, and that they would then come to him with greater goodwill; and that, by granting them liberty of conscience, very many of them would come over to him. 7.426. 3. So Ptolemy complied with his proposals, and gave him a place one hundred and eighty furlongs distant from Memphis. That Nomos was called the Nomos of Heliopoli 7.427. where Onias built a fortress and a temple, not like to that at Jerusalem, but such as resembled a tower. He built it of large stones to the height of sixty cubits; 7.428. he made the structure of the altar in imitation of that in our own country, and in like manner adorned with gifts, excepting the make of the candlestick 7.429. for he did not make a candlestick, but had a [single] lamp hammered out of a piece of gold, which illuminated the place with its rays, and which he hung by a chain of gold; 7.431. Yet did not Onias do this out of a sober disposition, but he had a mind to contend with the Jews at Jerusalem, and could not forget the indignation he had for being banished thence. Accordingly, he thought that by building this temple he should draw away a great number from them to himself. 7.432. There had been also a certain ancient prediction made by [a prophet] whose name was Isaiah, about six hundred years before, that this temple should be built by a man that was a Jew in Egypt. And this is the history of the building of that temple. 7.433. 4. And now Lupus, the governor of Alexandria, upon the receipt of Caesar’s letter, came to the temple, and carried out of it some of the donations dedicated thereto, and shut up the temple itself. 7.434. And as Lupus died a little afterward, Paulinus succeeded him. This man left none of those donations there, and threatened the priests severely if they did not bring them all out; nor did he permit any who were desirous of worshipping God there so much as to come near the whole sacred place; 7.435. but when he had shut up the gates, he made it entirely inaccessible, insomuch that there remained no longer the least footsteps of any Divine worship that had been in that place. 7.436. Now the duration of the time from the building of this temple till it was shut up again was three hundred and forty-three years.
19. New Testament, Mark, 10.10-10.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

10.10. In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter. 10.11. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her. 10.12. If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery.
20. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.73 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

21. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 108.9-108.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

22. Tacitus, Agricola, 21 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

23. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 1 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

24. Philostratus The Athenian, Life of Apollonius, 3.15, 3.18-3.20, 3.25, 3.32, 3.35-3.36, 3.38, 3.41, 3.43, 3.48-3.49, 6.6-6.22 (2nd cent. CE - missingth cent. CE)

3.15. APOLLONIUS himself describes the character of these sages and of their settlement upon the hill; for in one of his addresses to the Egyptians he says, I saw Indian Brahmans living upon the earth and yet not on it, and fortified without fortifications, and possessing nothing, yet having the riches of all men. He may indeed be thought to have here written with too much subtlety; but we have anyhow the account of Damis to effect that they made a practice of sleeping the ground, and that they strewed the ground with such grass as they might themselves prefer; and, what is more, he says that he saw them levitating themselves two cubits high from the ground, not for the sake of miraculous display, for they disdain any such ambition; but they regard any rites they perform, in thus quitting earth and walking with the Sun, as acts of homage acceptable to the God. Moreover, they neither burn upon an altar nor keep in stoves the fire which they extract from the sun's rays, although it is a material fire; but like the rays of sunlight when they are refracted in water, so this fire is seen raised aloft in the air and dancing in the ether. And further they pray to the Sun who governs the seasons by his might, that the latter may succeed duly in the land, so that India may prosper; but of a night they intreat the ray of light not to take the night amiss, but. to stay with them just as they have brought it down. Such then was the meaning of the phrase of Apollonius, that the Brahmans are upon earth and yet not upon earth. And his phrase fortified without fortifications or walls, refers to the air or vapor under which they bivouac, for though they seem to live in the open air, yet they raise up a shadow and veil themselves in it, so that they are not made wet when it rains and they enjoy the sunlight whenever they choose. And the phrase without possessing anything they had the riches of all men, is thus explained by Damis: All the springs which the Bacchanals see leaping up from the ground under their feet, whenever Dionysus stirs them and earth in a common convulsion, spring up in plenty for these Indians also when they are entertaining or being entertained. Apollonius therefore was right in saying that people provided as they are with all they want offhand and without having prepared anything, possess what they do not possess. And on principle they grow their hair long, as theLacedaemonians did of old and the people of Thurium and Tarentum, as well as the Melians and all who set store by the fashions of Sparta; and they bind a white turban on their heads, and their feet are naked for walking and they cut their garments to resemble the exomis [ 1]. But the material of which they make their raiment is a wool that springs wild from the ground, white like that of the Pamphylians, though it is of softer growth, and a grease like olive oil distills from off it. This is what they make their sacred vesture of, and if anyone else except these Indians tries to pluck it up, the earth refuses to surrender its wool. And they all carry both a ring and a staff of which the peculiar virtues can effect all things, and the one and the other, so we learn, are prized as secrets. 3.18. And when he had taken his seat, he said: Ask whatever you like, for you find yourself among people who know everything. Apollonius then asked him whether they knew themselves also, thinking that he, like the Greeks, would regard self-knowledge as a difficult matter. But the other, contrary to Apollonius' expectations, corrected him and said: We know everything, just because we begin by knowing ourselves; for no one of us would be admitted to this philosophy unless he first knew himself. And Apollonius remembered what he had heard Phraotes say, and how he who would become a philosopher must examine himself before he undertakes the task; and he therefore acquiesced in this answer, for he was convinced of its truth in his own case also. He accordingly asked a fresh question, namely, who they considered themselves to be; and the other answered We consider ourselves to be Gods. Apollonius asked afresh: Why? Because, said the other, we are good men. This reply struck Apollonius as so instinct with trained good sense that he subsequently mentioned it to Domitian in his defense of himself. 3.19. HE therefore resumed his questions and said: And what view do you take of the soul? That, replied the other, which Pythagoras imparted to you, and which we imparted to the Egyptians. Would you then say, said Apollonius, that as Pythagoras declared himself to be Euphorbus, so you yourself, before you entered your present body, were one of the Trojans or Achaeans or someone else? And the Indian replied: Those Achaean sailors were the ruin of Troy, and your talking so much about it is the ruin of you Greeks. For you imagine that the campaigners against Troy were the only heroes that ever were, and you forget other heroes both more numerous and more divine, whom your own country and that of the Egyptians and that of the Indians have produced. Since then you have asked me about my earlier incarnation, tell me, whom you regard as the most remarkable of the assailants or defenders of Troy. I, replied Apollonius, regard Achilles, the son of Peleus and Thetis, as such, for he and no other is celebrated by Homer as excelling all the Achaeans in personal beauty and size, and he knows of mighty deeds of his. And he also rates very highly such men as Ajax and Nireus, who were only second to him in beauty and courage, and are celebrated as such in his poems. With him, said the other, O Apollonius, I would have you compare my own ancestor, or rather my ancestral body, for that was the light in which Pythagoras regarded Euphorbus. 3.20. There was then, he said, a time when the Ethiopians, an Indian race, dwelt in this country, and when Ethiopia as yet was not; but Egypt stretched its borders beyond Meroe and the cataracts, and on the one side included in itself the fountains of the Nile, and on the other was only bounded by the mouths of the river. Well, at that time of which I speak, the Ethiopians lived here, and were subject to King Ganges, and the land was sufficient for their sustece, and the gods watched over them; but when they slew this king, neither did the rest of the Indians regard them as pure, nor did the land permit them to remain upon it; for it spoiled the seed which they sowed in it before it came into ear, and it inflicted miscarriages on their women, and it gave a miserable feed to their flocks; and wherever they tried to found a city, it would give way sink down under their feet. Nay more, the ghost of Ganges drove them forward on their path, a haunting terror to their multitude, and it did not quit them until they atoned to earth by sacrificing the murderers who had shed the king's blood with their hands. Now this Ganges it seems, was ten cubits high, and in personal beauty excelled any man the world had yet seen, and he was the son of the river Ganges; and when his own father inundated India, he himself turned the flood into the Red Sea, and effected a reconciliation between his father and the land, with the result that the latter brought forth fruits in abundance for him when living, and also avenged him after death. And since Homer brings Achilles to Troy in Helen's behalf, and relates how he took twelve cities by sea and eleven on land, and how he was carried away by wrath because he had been robbed of a woman by the king, on which occasion, in my opinion, he showed himself merciless and cruel, let us contrast the Indian in similar circumstances. He on the contrary set himself to found sixty cities, which are the most considerable of those hereabouts — and I would like to know who would regard the destruction of cities as a better title to fame than the rebuilding of them — and he also repulsed the Scythians who once invaded this land across the Caucasus. Surely it is better to prove yourself a good man by liberating your country than to bring slavery upon a city, and that too on behalf of a woman who probably was never really carried off against her will. And he had formed an alliance with the king of the country, over which Phraotes now rules, although that other had violated every law and principle of morality by carrying of his wife, he yet did not break his oath, and so stable, he said, was his pledged word, that, in spite of the injury he had suffered, he would not do anything to harm that other. 3.25. ThereUPON the Indian smiled and said: You seem to think that mere abstention from injustice constitutes justice, and I am of opinion that all Greeks do the same. For as I once learned from the Egyptians that come hither, governors from Rome are in the habit of visiting your country, brandishing their axes naked over your heads, before they know they have bad men to rule or not; but you acknowledge them to be just if they merely do not sell justice. And I have heard that the slave merchants yonder do exactly the same; for when they come to you with convoys of Carian slaves and are anxious to recommend their characters to you, they make it a great merit of the slaves that they do not steal. In the same way do you recommend on such grounds the rulers whose sway you acknowledge, and after decorating them with such praises as you lavish upon slaves, you send them away, objects, as you imagine, of universal admiration. Nay more, your cleverest poets will not give you leave to be just and good, even if you want to. For here was Minos, a man who exceeded all men in cruelty, and who enslaved with his navies the inhabitants of continent and islands alike, and yet they honor him by placing in his hand a scepter of justice and give him a throne in Hades to be umpire of spirits; while at the same time they deny food and drink to Tantalus, merely because he was a good man and inclined to share with his friends the immortality bestowed upon them by the Gods. And some of them hang stones over him, and rain insults of a terrible kind upon this divine and good man; and I would much rather that they had represented him as swimming in a lake of nectar, for he regaled men with that drink humanely and ungrudgingly. And as he spoke he pointed out a statue which stood upon his left hand, on which was inscribed the name Tantalus. Now this statue was four cubits high, and represented a man of fifty years who was clad in the fashion of Argolis, though he differed in his cloak, that being like a Thessalian's, and he held a cup sufficient at least for one thirsty man and drank your health therefrom, and in the goblet was a liquor, an unmixed draught which frothed and foamed, though without bubbling over the edge of the cup. Now I will presently explain what they consider this cup to be, and for what reason they drink from it. In any case, however, we must suppose that Tantalus was assailed by the poets for not giving rein to his tongue, but because he shared the nectar with mankind; but we must not suppose that he was really the victim of the gods' dislike, for, had he been hateful to them, he would never have been judged by the Indians to be a good man, for they are most religious people and never transgress any divine command. 3.32. THESE words of Apollonius caused the king to burst into tears, and he said: Dearest friend, in what an heroic light do you represent these Hellenes to me. Why then, O king, were you so hard upon them? The visitors who come hither from Egypt, O guest, replied the king, malign the race of Hellenes, and while declaring that they themselves are holy men and wise, and the true law-givers who fixed all the sacrifices and rites of initiation which are in vogue among the Greeks, they deny to the latter any and every sort of good quality, declaring them to be ruffians, and a mixed herd addicted to every sort of anarchy, and lovers of legend and miracle mongers, and though indeed poor, yet making their poverty not a title of dignity, but a mere excuse for stealing. But now that I have heard this from you and understand how fond of honor and how worthy the Hellenes are, I am reconciled for the future to them and I engage both that they shall have my praise and that I will pray all I can for them, and will never set trust in another Egyptian. But Iarchas remarked: I too, O king, was aware that your mind had been poisoned by these Egyptians; but I would not take the part of the Hellenes until you met some such counselor as this. But since you have been put right by a wise man, let us now proceed to quaff the good cheer provided by Tantalus, and let us sleep over the serious issues which we have to discuss tonight. But at another time I will fill you full with Hellenic arguments, and no other race is so rich in them; and you will delight in them whenever you come hither. And forthwith he set an example to this fellow guests, by stooping the first of them all to the goblet which indeed furnished an ample draught for all; for the stream refilled itself plenteously, as if with spring waters welling up from the ground; and Apollonius also drank, for this cup is instituted by the Indians as a cup of friendship; and they feign that Tantalus is the wine-bearer who supplies it, because he is considered to have been the most friendly of men. 3.35. And the subject is so vast and so far transcends our mental powers, that I do not know any example adequate to illustrate it; but we will take that of a ship, such as the Egyptians construct for our seas and launch for the exchange of Egyptian goods against Indian wares. For there is an ancient law in regard to the Red Sea, which the king Erythras laid down, when he held sway over that sea, to the effect that the Egyptians should not enter it with a vessel of war, and indeed should employ only a single merchant ship. This regulation obliged the Egyptians to contrive a ship equivalent to several at once of those which other races have; and they ribbed the sides of this ship with bolts such as hold a ship together, and they raised its bulwarks and its mast to a great height, and they constructed several compartments, such as are built upon the timber balks which run athwart a ship, and they set several pilots in this boat and subordinated them to the oldest and wisest of their number, to conduct the voyage; and there were several officers on the prow and excellent and handy sailors to man the sails; and in the crew of this ship there was a detachment of armed men, for it is necessary to equip the ship and protect it against the savages of the Gulf that live on the right hand as you enter it, in case they should ever attack and plunder it on the high seas. Let us apply this imagery to the universe, and regard it in the light of a naval construction; for then you must apportion the first and supreme position to God the begetter of this animal, and subordinate posts to the gods who govern its parts; and we may well assent to the statements of the poets, when they say that there are many gods in heaven and many in the sea, and many in the fountains and streams, and many round about the earth, and that there are some even under the earth. But we shall do well to separate from the universe the region under the earth, if there is one, because the poets represent it as an abode of terror and corruption. 3.36. AS the Indian concluded this discourse, Damis says that he was transported with admiration and applauded loudly; for he could never have thought that a native of India could show such mastery of the Greek tongue, nor even that, supposing he understood that language, he could have used it with so much ease and elegance. And he praises the look and smile of Iarchas, and the inspired air with which he expressed his ideas, admitting that Apollonius, although he had a delivery as graceful as it was free from bombast, nevertheless gained a great deal by contact with this Indian, and he says that whenever he sat down to discuss a theme, as he very often did, he resembled Iarchas. 3.38. THIS discussion was interrupted by the appearance among the sages of the messenger bringing in certain Indians who were in want of succor. And he brought forward a poor woman who interceded in behalf of her child, who was, she said, a boy of sixteen years of age, but had been for two years possessed by a devil. Now the character of the devil was that of a mocker and a liar. Here one of the sages asked, why she said this, and she replied: This child of mine is extremely good-looking, and therefore the devil is amorous of him and will not allow him to retain his reason, nor will he permit him to go to school, or to learn archery, nor even to remain at home, but drives him out into desert places. And the boy does not even retain his own voice, but speaks in a deep hollow tone, as men do; and he looks at you with other eyes rather than with his own. As for myself I weep over all this and I tear my cheeks, and I rebuke my son so far as I well may; but he does not know me. And I made my mind to repair hither, indeed I planned to do so a year ago; only the demon discovered himself using my child as a mask, and what he told me was this, that he was the ghost of man, who fell long ago in battle, but that at death he was passionately attached to his wife. Now he had been dead for only three days when his wife insulted their union by marrying another man, and the consequence was that he had come to detest the love of women, and had transferred himself wholly into this boy. But he promised, if I would only not denounce him to yourselves, to endow the child with many noble blessings. As for myself, I was influenced by these promises; but he has put me off and off for such a long time now, that he has got sole control of my household, yet has no honest or true intentions. Here the sage asked afresh, if the boy was at hand; and she said not, for, although she had done all she could to get him to come with her, the demon had threatened her with steep places and precipices and declared that he would kill her son, in case, she added, I haled him hither for trial. Take courage, said the sage, for he will not slay him when he has read this. And so saying he drew a letter out of his bosom and gave it to the woman; and the letter, it appears, was addressed to the ghost and contained threats of an alarming kind. 3.41. BOTH Apollonius and Damis then took part in the interviews devoted to abstract discussions; not so with the conversations devoted to occult themes, in which they pondered the nature of astronomy or divination, and considered the problem of foreknowledge, and handled the problems of sacrifice and of the invocations in which the gods take pleasure. In these Damis says that Apollonius alone partook of the philosophic discussion together with Iarchas, and that Apollonius embodied the results in four books concerning the divination by the stars, a work which Moeragenes has mentioned. And Damis says that he composed a work on the way to offer sacrifice to the several gods in a manner pleasing to them. Not only then do I regard the work on the science of the stars and the whole subject of such divination as transcending human nature, but I do not even know if anyone has these gifts; but I found the treatise on sacrifices in several cities, and in the houses of several learned men; moreover, if anyone should translate [ 1] it, he would find it to be a grave and dignified composition, and one that rings of the author's personality. And Damis says thatIarchas gave seven rings to Apollonius named after the seven stars, and that Apollonius wore each of these in turn on the day of the week which bore its name. 3.43. And with these words he turned to Damis and said playfully: And you, O Assyrian, have you no foreknowledge of anything, especially as you associate with such a man as this? Yes, by Zeus, answered Damis, at any rate of the things that are necessary for myself; for when I first met with Apollonius here, he at once struck me as full of wisdom and cleverness and sobriety and of true endurance; but when I saw that he also had a good memory, and that he was very learned and entirely devoted to the love of learning, he became to me something superhuman; and I came to the conclusion that if I stuck to him I should be held a wise man instead of an ignoramus and a dullard, and an educated man instead of a savage; and I saw that, if I followed him and shared his pursuits, I should visit the Indians and visit you, and that I should be turned into a Hellene by him and be able to mix with the Hellenes. Now of course you set your oracles, as they concern important issues, on a level with those of Delphi and Dodona and of any other shrine you like; as for my own premonitions, since Damis is the person who has them, and since his foreknowledge concerns himself alone, we will suppose that they resemble the guesses of an old beggar wife foretelling what will happen to sheep and such like. 3.48. As to the gold which the griffins dig up, there are rocks which are spotted with drops of gold as with sparks, which this creature can quarry because of the strength of its beak. For these animals do exist in India, he said, and are held in veneration as being sacred to the Sun; and the Indian artists, when they represent the Sun, yoke four of them abreast to draw the imaged car; and in size and strength they resemble lions but having this advantage over them that they have wings, they will attack them, and they get the better of elephants and of dragons. But they have no great power of flying, not more than have birds of short flight; for they are not winged as is proper with birds, but the palms of their feet are webbed with red membranes, such that they are able to revolve them, and make a flight and fight in the air; and the tiger alone is beyond their powers of attack, because in swiftness it rivals the winds. 3.49. And the phoenix, he said, is the bird which visits Egypt every five hundred years, but the rest of that time it flies about in India; and it is unique in that it gives out rays of sunlight and shines with gold, in size and appearance like an eagle; and it sits upon the nest; which is made by it at the springs of the Nile out of spices. The story of the Egyptians about it, that it comes to Egypt, is testified to by the Indians also, but the latter add this touch to the story, that the phoenix which is being consumed in its nest sings funeral strains for itself. And this is also done by the swans according to the account of those who have the wit to hear them. 6.6. Thence they rode out at sunrise, and arrived before midday at the academy of the naked sages, who dwell, they relate, upon a moderate-sized hill a little way from the bank of the Nile; and in point of wisdom they fall short of the Indians rather more than they excel the Egyptians. And they wear next to no clothes in the same way as people do at Athens in the heat of summer. And in their district there are few trees, and a certain grove of no great size to which they resort when they meet for the transaction of common affairs; but they do not build their shrines in one and the same place, as Indian shrines are built, but one is in one part of the hill and another in another, all worthy of observation, according to the accounts of the Egyptians. The Nile is the chief object of their worship, for they regard this river as land and water at once. They have no need, however, of hut or dwelling, because they live in the open air directly under the heaven itself, but they have built an hospice to accommodate strangers, and it is a portico of no great size, about equal in length to those of Elis, beneath which the athletes await the sound of the midday trumpet. 6.7. At this place Damis records an action of Euphrates, which if we do not regard it as juvenile, was anyhow unworthy of the dignity of a philosopher. Euphrates had heard Apollonius often say that he wished to compare the wisdom of India with that of Egypt, so he sent up to the naked sages one Thrasybulus, a native of Naucratis, to take away our sage's character. Thrasybulus at the same time that he pretended to have come there in order to enjoy their society, told them that the sage of Tyana would presently arrive, and that they would have no little trouble with him, because he esteemed himself more highly than the sages of India did themselves, though he extolled the latter whenever he opened his mouth; and he added that Apollonius had contrived a thousand pitfalls for them, and that he would not allow any sort of influence either to the sun, or to the sky, or to the earth, but pretended to move and juggle and rearrange these forces for whatever end he chose. 6.8. Having concocted these stories the man of Naucratis went away; and they, imagining they were true, did not indeed decline to meet Apollonius when he arrived, but pretended that they were occupied with important business and were so intent upon it, that they could only arrange an interview with him if they had time, and if they were informed first of what he wanted and of what attracted him thither.And a messenger from the bade them stay and lodge in the portico, but Apollonius remarked: We do not want to hear about a house for ourselves, for the climate here is such that anyone can live naked, — an unkind reference this to them, as it implied that they went without clothes not to show their endurance, but because it was too to wear any. And he added: I am not surprised indeed at their nor yet knowing what I want, and what I am come here for, though the Indians never asked me these questions. 6.9. Accordingly Apollonius lay down under one of the trees, and let his companions who were there with him ask whatever question they pleased. Damis took Timasion apart and asked him the question in private: About these naked sages, my good fellow, as you have lived with them, and in all probability know, tell me what their wisdom comes to? It is, answered the other, manifold an profound. And yet, said Damis, their demeanor towards us does not evince any wisdom, my fine fellow; for when they refuse to converse about wisdom with so great a man as our master, and assume all sorts of airs against him, what can I say of them except that they are too vain and proud. Pride and vanity! said the other, I have already come among them twice, and I never saw any such thing about them; for they were always very modest and courteous towards those who came to visit them. At any rate a little time ago, perhaps a matter of fifty days, one Thrasybulus was staying here who achieved nothing remarkable in philosophy, and they received him with open arms merely because he said he was a disciple of Euphrates. Then Damis cried: What's that you say, my boy? Then you saw Thrasybulus of Naucratis in this academy of theirs? Yes, and what's more, answered the other, I conveyed him hence, when he went down the river, in my own boat. Now I have it, by Athena, cried Damis, in a loud tone of indignation. I warrant he has played us some dirty trick. Timasion then replied: Your master, when I asked him yesterday who he was, would not answer me at once, but kept his name a secret; but do you, unless this is a mystery, tell me who he is, for then I could probably help you to find what you seek. And when he heard from Damis, that it was the sage of Tyana, You have put the matter, he said, in a nutshell. For Thrasybulus, as he descended the Nile with me, in answer to my question what he had gone up there for, explained to me that his love for wisdom was not genuine, and said that he had filled these naked sages with suspicion of Apollonius, to the end that whenever he came here they might flout him; and what his quarrel is with him I know not, but anyhow, it is, I think, worthy of a woman or of a vulgar person to backbite him as he has done. But I will address myself to these people and ascertain their real disposition; for they are friendly to me. And about eventide Timasion returned, though without telling Apollonius any more than that he had interchanged words with them; however he told Damis in private that they meant to come the next morning primed with all that they had heard from Thrasybulus. 6.10. They spent that evening conversing about trifles which are not worth recording, and then they lay down to sleep on the spot where they had supped; but at daybreak Apollonius, after adoring the sun according to his custom, had set himself to meditate upon some problem, when Nilus, who was the youngest of the naked philosophers, running up to him, exclaimed: We are coming to you. Quite right, said Apollonius, for to get to you I have made this long journey from the sea all the way here. And with these words he followed Nilus. So after exchanging greetings with the sages, and they met him close to the portico. Where, said Apollonius, shall we hold our interview? Here, said Thespesion, pointing to the grove. Now Thespesion was the eldest of the sect, and led them in procession; and they followed him with an orderly and leisurely step, just as the jury of the athletic sports at Olympia follow the eldest of their number. And when they had sat down, which they did anyhow, and without the observing their previous order, they all fixed their eyes on Thespesion as the one who should regale them with a discourse, which he proceeded as follows: They say, Apollonius, that you have visited the Pythian and Olympian festivals; for this was reported of you here by Stratocles of Pharos, who says he met you there. Now those who come to the Pythian festival are, they say, escorted with the sound of pipe and song and lyre, and are honored with shows of comedies and tragedies; and then last of all they are presented with an exhibition of games and races run by naked athletes. At the Olympic festival, however, these superfluities are omitted as inappropriate and unworthy of the place; and those who go to the festival are only provided with the show of naked athletes originally instituted by Heracles. You may see the same contrast between the wisdom of the Indians and our own. For they, like those who invite others to the Pythian festival, appeal to the crowd with all sorts of charms and wizardry; but we, like the athletes of Olympia, go naked. Here earth strews for us no couches, nor does it yield us milk or wine as if we were bacchants, nor does the air uplift us and sustain us aloft. But the earth beneath us is our only couch, and we live by partaking of its natural fruits, which we would have it yield to us gladly and without being tortured against its will. But you shall see that we are not unable to work tricks if we like. Heigh! you tree yonder, he cried, pointing to an elm tree, the third in the row from that under which they were talking, just salute the wise Apollonius, will you? And forthwith the tree saluted him, as it was bidden to do, in accents which were articulate and like those of a woman. Now he wrought this sign to discredit the Indians, and in the belief that by doing so he would wean Apollonius of his excessive estimate of their powers; for he was always recounting to everybody what the Indians said and did.Then the Egyptian added these precepts: he said that it is sufficient for the sage to abstain from eating all flesh of living animals, and from the roving desires which mount up in the soul through the eyes, and from envy which ends by teaching injustice to hand and will, and that truth stands not in need of miracle-mongering and sinister arts. For look, he said, at the Apollo of Delphi, who keeps the center of Hellas for the utterance of his oracles. There then, as you probably know yourself, a person who desires a response, puts his question briefly, and Apollo tells what he knows without any miraculous display. And yet it would be just as easy for him to convulse the whole mountain of Parnassus, and to alter the springs of the Castalian fountain so that it should run with wine, and to check the river Cephisus and stay its stream; but he reveals the bare truth without any of this show of ostentation. Nor must we suppose that it is by his will, that so much gold and showy offerings enter his treasury, nor that he would care for his temple even if it were made twice as large as it already is. For once on a time this god Apollo dwelt in quite a humble habitation; and a little hut was constructed for him to which the bees are said to have contributed their honeycomb and wax, and the birds their feathers. For simplicity is the teacher of wisdom and the teacher of truth; and you must embrace it, if you would have men think you really wise, and forget all your legendary tales that you have acquired among the Indians. For what need is there to beat the drum over such simple matters as: “Do this, or do not do it,” or “I know it, or I do not know it,” or “It is this and not that'? What do you want with thunder, nay, I would say, What do you want to be thunder-struck for?You have seen in picture-books the representation of Heracles by Prodicus; in it Heracles is represented as a youth, who has not yet chosen the life he will lead; and vice and virtue stand in each side of him plucking his garments and trying to draw him to themselves. Vice is adorned with gold and necklaces and with purple raiment, and her cheeks are painted and her hair delicately plaited and her eyes underlined with henna; and she also wears golden slippers, for she is pictured strutting about in these; but virtue in the picture resembles a woman worn out with toil, with a pinched look; and she has chosen for her adornment rough squalor, and she goes without shoes and in the plainest of raiment, and she would have appeared naked if she had not too much regard for her feminine decency. Now figure yourself, Apollonius, as standing between Indian wisdom on one side, and our humble wisdom on the other; imagine that you hear the one telling you how she will strew flowers under you when you lie down to sleep, yes, and by Heaven, how she will regale you upon milk and nourish you on honey-comb, and how she will supply you with nectar and wings, whenever you want them; and how she will wheel in tripods, whenever you drink, and golden thrones; and you shall have no hard work to do, but everything will be flung unsought into your lap. But the other discipline insists that you must lie on the bare ground in squalor, and be seen to toil naked like ourselves; and that you must not find dear or sweet anything which you have not won by hard work; and that you must not be boastful, not hunt after vanities and pursue pride; and that you must be on your guard against all dreams and visions which lift you off the earth. If then you really make the choice of Heracles, and steel your will resolutely, neither to dishonor truth, nor to decline the simplicity of nature, then you may say that you have overcome many lions and have cut off the heads of many hydras and of monsters like Geryon and Nessus, and have accomplished all his other labors, but if you embrace the life of a strolling juggler, you will flatter men's eyes and ears, but they will think you no wiser than anybody else, and you will become the vanquished of any naked philosopher of Egypt. 6.11. When he ended, all turned their eyes upon Apollonius; his own followers knowing well that he would reply, while Thespesion's friends wondered what he could say in answer. But he, after praising the fluency and vigor of the Egyptian, merely said: Have you anything more to say? No, by Zeus, said the other, for I have said all I have to say. Then he asked afresh: And has not any one of the rest of the Egyptians anything to say? I am their spokesman, answered his antagonist, and you have heard them all. Apollonius accordingly paused for a minute and then, fixing his eyes, as it were, on the discourse he had heard, he spoke as follows: You have very well described and in a sound philosophic spirit the choice which Prodicus declares Heracles to have made as a young man; but, ye wise men of the Egyptians, it does not apply in the least to myself. For I am not come here to ask your advice about how to live, insomuch as I long ago made choice of the life which seemed best to myself; and as I am older than any of you, except Thespesion, I myself am better qualified, now I have got here, to advise you how to choose wisdom, if I did not find that you had already made the choice. Being, however, as old as I am, and so far advanced in wisdom as I am, I shall not hesitate as it were to make you the auditors of my life and motives, and teach you that I rightly chose this life of mine, than which no better one has ever suggested itself to me. For I discerned a certain sublimity in the discipline of Pythagoras, and how a certain secret wisdom enabled him to know, not only who he was himself, but also who he had been; and I saw that he approached the altars in purity, and suffered not his belly to be polluted by partaking of the flesh of animals and that he kept his body pure of all garments woven of dead animal refuse; and that he was the first of mankind to restrain his tongue, inventing a discipline of silence described in the proverbial phrase, An ox sits upon it. I also saw that his philosophical system was in other respects oracular and true. So I ran to embrace his teachings, not choosing one form of wisdom rather than another of two presented me, as you, my excellent Thespesion, advise me to do. For philosophy marshaled before me her various points of view, investing them with the adornment proper to each and she commanded me to look upon them and make a sound choice. Now they were all possessed of an august and divine beauty; and some of them were of such dazzling brightness that you might well have closed your eyes. However I fixed my eyes firmly upon all of them, for they themselves encouraged me to do so by moving towards me, and telling me beforehand how much they would give me. Well, one of them professed that she would shower upon me a swarm of pleasures without any toil on my part and another that she would give me rest after toil; and a third that she would mingle mirth and merriment in my toil; and everywhere I had glimpses of pleasures and of unrestrained indulgence in the pleasures of the table; and it seemed that I had only to stretch out my hand to be rich, and that I needed not to set any bridle upon my eyes, but love and loose desire and such-like feelings were freely allowed me. One of them, however, boasted that she would restrain me from such things, but she was bold and abusive and in an unabashed manner elbowed all others aside; and I beheld the ineffable form of wisdom 6.12. Damis says that he breathed afresh when he heard this address; for that the Egyptians were so impressed by Apollonius' words, that Thespesion, in spite of the blackness of his complexion, visibly blushed, while the rest of them seemed in some way stunned by the vigorous and fluent discourse which they listened to; but the youngest of them, whose name was Nilus, leapt up from the ground, he says, in admiration, and passing over to Apollonius shook hands with him, and besought him to tell him about the interviews which he had had with the Indians. And Apollonius, he says, replied: I should not grudge you anything, for you are ready to listen, as I see, and are ready to welcome wisdom of every kind; but I should not care to pour out the teachings I gathered there upon Thespesion or on anyone else who regards the lore of the Indians as so much nonsense. Whereupon Thespesion said: But if you were a merchant or a seafarer, and you brought to us some cargo or other from over there, would you claim, merely because it came from India, to dispose of it untested and unexamined, refusing us either the liberty of looking at it or tasting it? But Apollonius repled as follows: I should furnish it to those who asked for it; but if the moment my ship had reached the harbor, someone came down the beach and began to run down my cargo and abuse myself, and say that I came from a country which produces nothing worth having, and if he reproached me for sailing with a cargo of shoddy goods, and tried to persuade the rest to think like himself, do you suppose that one would, after entering such a harbor, cast anchor or make his cables fast, and not rather hoist his sails and put to sea afresh, entrusting his goods more gladly to the winds than to such undiscerning and inhospitable people? Well, I anyhow, said Nilus, lay hold on your cables, and entreat you, my skipper, to let me share your goods that you bring hither; and I would gladly embark with you in your ship as a super-cargo and a clerk to check your merchandise. 6.13. Thespesion, however, was anxious to put a stop to such propositions, so he said: I am glad, Apollonius, that you are annoyed at what we said to you; for you can the more readily condone our annoyance at the misrepresentation you made of our local wisdom, long before you had gained any experience of its quality. Apollonius was for a moment astonished at these words, for he had heard nothing as yet of the intrigues of Thrasybulus and Euphrates; but as was his wont, he guessed the truth and said: The Indians, O Thespesion, would never have behaved as you have, nor have given ear to these insinuation dropped by Euphrates, for they have a gift of prescience. Now I never have had any quarrel of my own with Euphrates; I only tried to wean him of his passion for money and cure his propensity to value everything by what he could make out of it; but I found that my advice was not congenial to him, nor in his case practicable; nay he merely takes it as a tacit reproach, and never loses any opportunity of intriguing against me. But since you have found his attacks upon my character so plausible, I may as well tell you that it is you, rather than myself, that he has calumniated. For though, as is clear to me, the victims of calumny incur considerable dangers, since they are, I suppose, sure to be disliked without having done any wrong, yet neither are those who incline to listen to the calumnies free from danger; for in the first place they will be convicted of paying respect to lies and giving them as much attention as they would to the truth, and secondly they are convicted of levity and credulity, faults which it is disgraceful even for a stripling to fall into. And they will be thought envious, because they allow envy to teach them to listen to unjust tittle-tattle; and they expose themselves all the more to calumny, because they think it true of others. For man is by nature inclined to commit a fault which he does not discredit when he hears it related to others. Heaven forbid that a man of these inclinations should become a tyrant, or even president of a popular state; for in his hands even a democracy would become a tyranny; nor let him be made a judge, for surely he will not ever discern the truth. Nor let him be captain of a ship, for the crew would mutiny, nor general of an army, for that would bring luck to the adversary; nor let one of his disposition attempt philosophy, for he would not consider the truth in forming his opinions. But Euphrates has deprived you of even the quality of wisdom; for how can those on whom he has imposed with his falsehoods claim wisdom for themselves? have they not deserted from it to take sides with one who has persuaded them of improbabilities? Here Thespesion tried to calm him, and remarked: Enough of Euphrates and of his small-minded affairs; for we are quite ready even to reconcile you with him, since we consider it the proper work of a sage to be umpire in the disputes of other sages. But, said Apollonius, who shall reconcile me with you? For the victim of lies must surely be driven into hostility by the falsehood. ... Be it so, said Apollonius, and let us hold a conversation, for that will be the best way of reconciling us. 6.14. And Nilus, as he was passionately anxious to listen to Apollonius, said: And what's more, it behoves you to begin the conversation, and to tell us all about the journey which you made to the people of India, and about the conversations which you held there, I have no doubt, on the most brilliant topics. And I too, said Thespesion, long to hear about the wisdom of Phraotes, for you are said to have brought from India some examples of his arguments. Apollonius accordingly began by telling them about the events which occurred in Babylon, and told them everything, and they gladly listened to him, spellbound by his words. But when it was midday, they broke of the conversations, for at this time of day the naked sages, like others, attend to the ceremonies of religion. 6.15. Apollonius and his comrades were about to dine, when Nilus presented himself with vegetables and bread and dried fruits, some of which he carried himself, while his friends carried the rest; and very politely he said: The sages send these gifts of hospitality, not only to yourselves but to me; for I mean to share in your repast, not uninvited, as they say, but inviting myself. It is a delightful gift of hospitality, said Apollonius, which you bring to us, O youth, in the shape of yourself and your disposition, for you are evidently a philosopher without guile, and an enthusiastic lover of the doctrines of the Indians and of Pythagoras. So lie down here and eat with us. I will do so, said the other, but your dishes will not be ample enough to satisfy me. It seems to me, said the other, that you are a gourmand and an appalling eater. None like me, said the other, for although you have set before me so ample and so brilliant a repast, I am not sated; and after a little time I am come back again to eat afresh. What then can you call me but an insatiable cormorant? Eat your fill, said Apollonius, and as for topics of conversation, some you must yourself supply, and I will give you others. 6.16. So when they had dined, I, said Nilus, until now have been camping together with the naked sages, and joined my forces with them as with certain light armed troops or slingers. But now I intend to put on my heavy armor, and it is your shield that shall adorn me. But, said Apollonius, I think, my good Egyptian, that you will incur the censure of Thespesion and his society for two reasons; firstly, that after no further examination and testing of ourselves you have left them, and secondly that you give the preference to our manners and discipline with more precipitancy than is admissible where a man is making choice of how he shall live. I agree with you, said the young man, but if I am to blame for making this choice, I might also be to blame if I did not make it; and anyhow they will be most open to rebuke, if they make the same choice as myself. For it will be more justly reprehensible in them, as they are both older and wiser than myself, not to have made the choice long ago which I make now; for with all their advantages they will have failed to choose what in practice would so much redound to their advantage. A very generous sentiment indeed, my good youth, is this which you have expressed, said Apollonius; but beware lest the mere fact of their being so wise and aged should give them an appearance, at any rate, of being right in choosing as they have done, and of having good reason for rejecting my doctrine; and lest you should seem to take up a very bold position in setting them to rights rather than in following them. But the Egyptian turned short round upon Apollonius and countering his opinion said: So far as it was right for a young man to agree with his elders, I have been careful to do so; for so long as I thought that these gentlemen were possessed of a wisdom which belonged to no other set of men, I attached myself to them; and the motive which actuated me to do so was the following: My father once made a voyage on his own initiative to the Red Sea, for he was, I may tell you, captain of the ship which the Egyptians send to the Indies. And after he had had intercourse with the Indians of the seaboard, he brought home stories of the wise men of that region, closely similar to those which you have told us. And his account which I heard was somewhat as follows, namely that the Indians are the wisest of mankind, but that the Ethiopians are colonists sent from India, who follow their forefathers in matters of wisdom, and fix their eyes on the institutions of their home. Well, I, having reached my teens, surrendered my patrimony to those who wanted it more than myself, and frequented the society of these naked sages, naked myself as they, in the hope of picking up the teaching of the Indians, or at any rate teaching allied to theirs. And they certainly appeared to me to be wise, though not after the manner of India; but when I asked them point blank why they did not teach the philosophy of India, they plunged into abuse of the natives of that country very much as you have heard them do in their speeches this very day. Now I was still young, as you see, so they made me a member of their society, because I imagine they were afraid I might hastily quit them and undertake a voyage to the Red Sea, as my father did before me. And I should certainly have done so, yes, by Heaven, I would have pushed on until I reached the hill of the sages, unless someone of the gods had sent you hither to help me and enabled me without either making any voyage over the Red Sea or adventuring to the inhabitants of the Gulf, to taste the wisdom of India. It is not today therefore for the first time that I shall make my choice, but I made it long ago, though I did not obtain what I hoped to obtain. For what is there to wonder at if a man who has missed what he was looking for, returns to the search? And if I should convert my friends yonder to this point of view, and persuade them to adopt the convictions which I have adopted myself, should I, tell me, be guilty of any hardihood? For you must not reject the claim that youth makes, that in some way it assimilates an idea more easily than old age; and anyone who counsels another to adopt the wisdom and teaching which he himself has chosen, anyhow escapes the imputation of trying to persuade others of things he does not believe himself. And anyone who takes the blessings bestowed upon him by fortune into a corner and there enjoys them by himself, violates their character as blessings, for he prevents their sweetness from being enjoyed by as many as possible. 6.17. When Nilus had finished these arguments, and juvenile enough they were, Apollonius took him up and said: If you were in love with my wisdom, had you not better, before I begin, discuss with me the question of my reward? Let us discuss it, answered Nilus, and do you ask whatever you like. I ask you, he said, to be content with the choice you have made, and not to annoy the naked sages by giving them advice which they will not take. I consent, he said, and let this be agreed upon as your reward. This then was the substance of their conversation, and when Nilus at its close asked him how long a time he would stay among the naked sages he replied: So long as the quality of their wisdom justifies anyone in remaining in their company; and after that I shall take my way to the cataracts, in order to see the springs of the Nile, for it will be delightful not only to behold the sources of the Nile, but also to listen to the roar of its waterfalls. 6.18. After they had held this discussion and listened to some recollections of India, they lay down to sleep upon the grass; but at daybreak, having offered their accustomed prayers, they followed Nilus, who led them into the presence of Thespesion. They accordingly greeted one another, and sitting down together in the grove they began a conversation in which Apollonius led as follows: How important it is, said he, not to conceal wisdom, is proved by our conversation of yesterday; for because the Indians taught me as much of their wisdom as I thought it proper for me to know, I not only remember my teachers, but I go about instilling into others what I heard from them. And you too will be richly rewarded by me, if you send me away with a knowledge of your wisdom as well; for I shall not cease to go about and repeat your teachings to the Greeks, while to the Indians I shall write them. 6.19. Ask, they said, for you know question comes first and argument follows on it. It is about the gods that I would like to ask you a question first, namely, what induced you to impart, as your tradition, to the people of this country forms of the gods that are absurd and grotesque in all but a few cases? In a few cases, do I say? I would rather say that in very few are the gods' images fashioned in a wise and god-like manner, for the mass of your shrines seem to have been erected in honor rather of irrational and ignoble animals than of gods. Thespesion, resenting these remarks, said: And your own images in Greece, how are they fashioned? In the way, he replied, in which it is best and most reverent to construct images of the gods. I suppose you allude, said the other, to the statue of Zeus in Olympia, and to the image of Athena and to that of the Cnidian goddess and to that of the Argive goddess and to other images equally beautiful and full of charm? Not only to these, replied Apollonius, but without exception I maintain, that whereas in other lands statuary has scrupulously observed decency and fitness, you rather make ridicule of the gods than really believe in them. Your artists, then, like Phidias, said the other, and like Praxiteles, went up, I suppose, to heaven and took a copy of the forms of the gods, and then reproduced these by their art or was there any other influence which presided over and guided their molding? There was, said Apollonius, and an influence pregt with wisdom and genius. What was that? said the other, for I do not think you can adduce any except imitation. Imagination, said Apollonius, wrought these works, a wiser and subtler artist by far than imitation; for imitation can only create as its handiwork what it has seen, but imagination equally what it has not seen; for it will conceive of its ideal with reference to the reality, and imitation is often baffled by terror, but imagination by nothing; for it marches undismayed to the goal which it has itself laid down. When you entertain a notion of Zeus you must, I suppose, envisage him along with heaven and seasons and stars, as Phidias in his day endeavoured to do, and if you would fashion an image of Athena you must imagine in your mind armies and cunning, and handicrafts, and how she leapt out of Zeus himself. But if you make a hawk or an owl or a wolf or a dog, and put it in your temples instead of Hermes or Athena or Apollo, your animals and your birds may be esteemed and of much price as likenesses, but the gods will be very much lowered in their dignity. I think, said the other, that you criticize our religion very superficially; for if the Egyptians have any wisdom, they show it by their deep respect and reverence in the representation of the gods, and by the circumstance that they fashion their forms as symbols of a profound inner meaning, so as to enhance their solemnity and august character. Apollonius thereon merely laughed and said: My good friends, you have indeed greatly profited by the wisdom of Egypt and Ethiopia, if your dog and your ibis and your goat seem particularly august and god-like, for this is what I learn from Thespesion the sage.But what is there that is august or awe-inspiring in these images? Is it not likely that perjurers and temple-thieves and all the rabble of low jesters will despise such holy objects rather than dread them; and if they are to be held for the hidden meanings which they convey, surely the gods in Egypt would have met with much greater reverence, if no images of them had ever been set up at all, and if you had planned your theology along other lines wiser and more mysterious. For I imagine you might have built temples for them, and have fixed the altars and laid down rules about what to sacrifice and what not, and when and on what scale, and with what liturgies and rites, without introducing any image at all, but leaving it to those who frequented the temples to imagine the images of the gods; for the mind can more or less delineate and figure them to itself better than can any artist; but you have denied to the gods the privilege of beauty both of the outer eye and of an inner suggestion. Thespesion replied and said: There was a certain Athenian, called Socrates, a foolish old man like ourselves, who thought that the dog and the goose and the plane tree were gods and used to swear by them. He was not foolish, said Apollonius, but a divine and unfeignedly wise man; for he did not swear by these objects on the understanding that they were gods, but to save himself from swearing by the gods. 6.20. Thereupon Thespesion as if anxious to drop the subject, put some questions to Apollonius, about the scourging in Sparta, and asked if the Lacedaemonians were smitten with rods in public. Yes, answered the other, as hard, O Thespesion, as men can smite them; and it is especially men of noble birth among them that are so treated. Then what do they do to menials, he asked, when they do wrong? They do not kill them nowadays, said Apollonius, as Lycurgus formerly allowed, but the same whip is used to them too. And what judgment does Hellas pass upon the matter? They flock, he answered, to see the spectacle with pleasure and utmost enthusiasm, as if to the festival of Hyacinthus, or to that of the naked boys. Then these excellent Hellenes are not ashamed, either to behold those publicly whipped who erewhile governed them or to reflect that they were governed by men who are whipped by men who are whipped before the eyes of all? And how is it that you did not reform this abuse? For they say that you interested yourself in the affairs of the Lacedaemonians, as of other people. So far as anything could be reformed, I gave them my advice, and they readily adopted it; for they are the freest of the Hellenes; but at the same time they will only listen to one who gives them good advice. Now the custom of scourging is a ceremony in honor of the Scythian Artemis, so they say, and was prescribed by oracles, and to oppose the regulations of the gods is in my opinion utter madness. 'Tis a poor wisdom, Apollonius, he replied, which you attribute to the gods of the Hellenes, if they countece scourging as a part of the discipline of freedom. It's not the scourging, he said, but the sprinkling of the altar with human blood that is important, for the Scythians too held the altar to be worthy thereof; but the Lacedaemonians modified the ceremony of sacrifice because of its implacable cruelty, and turned it into a contest of endurance, undergone without any loss of life, and yet securing to the goddess as first fruits an offering of their own blood. Why then, said the other, do they not sacrifice strangers right out to Artemis, as the Scythians formerly considered right to do? Because, he answered, it is not congenial to any of the Greeks to adopt in full rigor the manners and customs of barbarians. And yet, said the other, it seems to me that it would be more humane to sacrifice one or two of them than to enforce as they do a policy of exclusion against all foreigners.Let us not assail, said the other, O Thespesion, the law-giver Lycurgus; but we must understand him, and then we shall see that his prohibition to strangers to settle in Sparta and live there was not inspired on his part by mere boorish exclusiveness, but by a desire to keep the institutions of Sparta in their original purity by preventing outsiders from mingling in her life. Well, said the other, I should allow the men of Sparta to be what they claim to be, if they had ever lived with strangers, and yet had faithfully adhered to their home principles; for it was not by keeping true to themselves in the absence of strangers, but by doing so in spite of their presence, that they needed to show their superiority. But they, although they enforced his policy of excluding strangers, corrupted their institutions, and were found doing exactly the same as did those of the Greeks whom they most detested. Anyhow, their subsequent naval program and policy of imposing tribute was modelled entirely upon that of Athens, and they themselves ended by committing acts which they had themselves regarded as a just casus belli against the Athenians, whom they had no sooner beaten in the field than they humbly adopted, as if they were the beaten party, their pet institution. And the very fact that the goddess was introduced from Taurus and Scythia was the action of men who embraced alien customs. But if an oracle prescribed this, what want was there of the scourge? What need to feign an endurance fit for slaves? Had they wanted to prove the disdain that Lacedaemonians felt for death, they had I think done better to sacrifice a youth of Sparta with his own consent upon the altar. For this would have been a real proof of the superior courage of the Spartans, and would have disinclined Hellas from ranging herself in the opposite camp to them. But you will say that they had to save their young men for the battlefield; well, in that case the law which prevails among the Scythians, and sentences all men of sixty years of age to death, would have been more suitably introduced and followed among the Lacedaemonians then among the Scythians, supposing that they embrace death in its grim reality and not as a mere parade. These remarks of mine are directed not so much against the Lacedaemonians, as against yourself, O Apollonius. For if ancient institutions, whose hoary age defies our understanding of their origins, are to be examined in an unsympathetic spirit, and the reason why they are pleasing to heaven subjected to cold criticism, such a line of speculation will produce a crop of odd conclusions; for we could attack the mystery rite of Eleusis in the same way and ask, why it is this and not that; and the same with the rites of the Samothracians, for in their ritual they avoid one thing and insist on another; and the same with the Dionysiac ceremonies and the phallic symbol, and the figure erected in Cyllene, and before we know where we are we shall be picking holes in everything. Let us choose, therefore, any other topic you like, but respect the sentiment of Pythagoras, which is also our own; for it is better, if we can't hold our tongues about everything, at any rate to preserve silence about such matters as these. Apollonius replied and said, If, O Thespesion, you had wished to discuss the topic seriously, you would have found that the Lacedaemonians have many excellent arguments to advance in favor of their institutions, proving that they are sound and superior to those of other Hellenes; but since you are so averse to continue the discussion, and even regard it as impious to talk about such things, let us proceed to another subject, of great importance, as I am convinced, for it is about justice that I shall now put a question. 6.21. Let us, said Thespesion, tackle the subject; for it is one very suitable to men, whether they are wise or not wise. But lest we should drag in the opinions of Indians, and so confuse our discussion, and go off without having formed any conclusions, do you first impart to us the views held by the Indians concerning justice, for you probably examined their views on the spot; and if their opinion is proved to be correct we will adopt it; but if we have something wiser to put in its place, you must adopt our view, for that too is plain justice. Said Apollonius: Your plan is excellent and most satisfactory to me; so do listen to the conversation which I held there. For I related to them how I had once been captain of a large ship, in the period when my soul was in command of another body, and how I thought myself extremely just because, when robbers offered me a reward, if I would betray my ship by running it into roads where they were going to lie in wait for it, in order to seize its cargo, I agreed and made the promise, just to save them from attacking us, but intending to slip by them and get beyond the place agreed upon. And, said Thespesion, did the Indians agree that this was justice? No, they laughed at the idea, he said, for they said that justice was something more than not being unjust. It was very sensible, said the other, of the Indians to reject such a view; for good sense is something more than not entertaining nonsense, just as courage is something more than not running away from the ranks; and so temperance is something more than the avoidance of adultery, and no one reserves his praise for a man who has simply shown himself to be not bad. For because a thing, no matter what, is equidistant between praise and punishment, it is not on that account to be reckoned off-hand to be virtue How then. O Thespesion, said Apollonius, are we to crown the just man and for what actions? Could you have discussed justice more completely and more opportunely, said the other, than when the sovereign of so large and flourishing a country intervened in your philosophic discussion of the art of kingship, a thing intimately connected with justice? If it had been Phraotes, said Apollonius, who turned up on that occasion, you might rightly blame me for not gravely discussing the subject of justice in his presence. But you from the account which I gave of him yesterday that the man is a drunkard and an enemy of all philosophy. What need therefore was there to inflict on him the trouble? Why should we try to win credit for ourselves in the presence of a sybarite who thinks of nothing but his own pleasures? But inasmuch as it is incumbent upon wise men like ourselves to explore and trace out justice, more so than on kings and generals, let us proceed to examine the absolutely just man. For though I thought myself just in the affair of the ship, and thought others just too because they do not practice injustice, you deny that this in itself constitutes them just or worthy of honor. And rightly so, said the other, for whoever heard of a decree drafted by Athenians or Lacedaemonians in favor of crowning so and so, because he is not a libertine, or of granting the freedom of the city to so and so, because the temples have not been robbed by him? Who then is the just man and what are is actions? For neither did I ever hear of anyone being crowned merely for his justice, nor of a decree being proposed over a just man to the effect that so and so shall be crowned, because such and such actions of his show him to be just. For anyone who considers the fate of Palamedes in Troy or Socrates in Athens, will discover that even justice is not sure of success among men, for assuredly these men suffered most unjustly being themselves most just. Still they at least were put to death on the score of acts of injustice imputed on them, and the verdict was a distortion of the truth; whereas in the case of Aristides the son of Lysimachus, it was very justice that was the undoing of him, for he in spite of his integrity was banished merely because of his reputation for this very virtue. And I am sure that justice will appear in a very ridiculous light; for having been appointed by Zeus and by the Fates to prevent men being unjust to one another, she has never been able to defend herself against injustice.And the history of Aristides is sufficient to me to show the difference between one who is nor unjust and one who is really just. For, tell me, is not this the same Aristides of whom your Hellenic compatriots when they come here tell us that he undertook a voyage to the islands to fix the tribute of the allies, and after settling it on a fair basis, returned again to his country still wearing the same cloak in which he left it? It is he, answered Apollonius, who made the love of poverty once to flourish. Now, said the other, let us suppose that there were at Athens two public orators passing an encomium upon Aristides, just after he had returned from the allies; one of the proposes that he shall be crowned, because he has come back again without enriching himself or amassing any fortune, but the poorest of the Athenians, poorer than he was before; and the other orator, we will suppose, drafts his motion somewhat as follows: “Whereas Aristides has fixed the tribute of the allies according to their ability to pay, and not in excess of the resources of their respective countries; and whereas he has endeavored to keep them loyal to the Athenians, and to see that they shall feel it no grievance to pay upon this scale, it is hereby resolved to crown him for justice.” Do you not suppose that Aristides himself would have opposed the first of these resolutions, as an indignity to his entire life, seeing that it only honored him for not doing injustice; whereas, he might perhaps have supported the other resolution as a fair attempt to express his intentions and policy? For I imagine it was with an eye to the interest of Athenians and subject states alike, that he took care to fix the tribute on a fair and moderate basis, and in fact his wisdom in this matter was conclusively proved after his death. For when the Athenians exceeded his valuations and imposed heavier tributes upon the islands, their naval supremacy at once went to pieces, though it more than anything else had made them formidable; on the other hand the prowess of the Lacedaemonians passed on to the sea itself; and nothing was left of Athenian supremacy, for the whole of the subject states rushed into revolution and made good their escape. It follows then, O Apollonius, that rightly judged, it is not the man who abstains from injustice that is just, but the man who himself does what is just, and also influences others not to be unjust; and from such justice as his there will spring up a crop of other virtues, especially those of the law-court and of the legislative chamber. For such a man as he will make a much fairer judge than people who take their oaths upon the dissected parts of victims, and his legislation will be similar to that of Solon and of Lycurgus; for assuredly these great legislators were inspired by justice to undertake their work. 6.22. Such, according to Damis, was the discussion held by them with regard to the just man, and Apollonius, he says, assented to their argument, for he always agreed with what was reasonably put. They also had a philosophic talk about the soul, proving its immortality, and about nature, along much the same lines which Plato follows in his Timaeus; and after some further remarks and discussions of the laws of the Hellenes, Apollonius said: For myself I have come all this way to see yourselves and visit the springs of the Nile; for a person who only comes as far as Egypt may be excused if he ignores the latter, but if he advances as far as Ethiopia, as I have done, he will be rightly reproached if he neglects to visit them, and to draw as it were from their well-springs some arguments of his own. Farewell then, said the other, and pray to the springs for whatever you desire, for they are divine. But I imagine you will take as your guide Timasion, who formerly lived at Naucratis, but is now of Memphis; for he is well acquainted with the springs of the Nile and he is not so impure as to stand in need of further lustrations. But as for you, O Nilus, we would like to have a talk to you by ourselves. The meaning of this sally was clear enough to Apollonius, for he well understood their annoyance at Nilus' preference for himself; but to give them an opportunity of speaking him apart, he left them to prepare and pack up for his journey, for he meant to start at daybreak. And after a little time Nilus returned, but did not tell them anything of what they had said to him, though he laughed a good deal to himself. And no one asked him what he was laughing about, but they respected his secret.
25. Babylonian Talmud, Niddah, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)

31a. מאי קרא (תהלים עא, ו) ממעי אמי אתה גוזי מאי משמע דהאי גוזי לישנא דאשתבועי הוא דכתיב (ירמיהו ז, כט) גזי נזרך והשליכי,ואמר רבי אלעזר למה ולד דומה במעי אמו לאגוז מונח בספל של מים אדם נותן אצבעו עליו שוקע לכאן ולכאן,תנו רבנן שלשה חדשים הראשונים ולד דר במדור התחתון אמצעיים ולד דר במדור האמצעי אחרונים ולד דר במדור העליון וכיון שהגיע זמנו לצאת מתהפך ויוצא וזהו חבלי אשה,והיינו דתנן חבלי של נקבה מרובין משל זכר,ואמר רבי אלעזר מאי קרא (תהלים קלט, טו) אשר עשיתי בסתר רקמתי בתחתיות ארץ דרתי לא נאמר אלא רקמתי,מאי שנא חבלי נקבה מרובין משל זכר זה בא כדרך תשמישו וזה בא כדרך תשמישו זו הופכת פניה וזה אין הופך פניו,תנו רבנן שלשה חדשים הראשונים תשמיש קשה לאשה וגם קשה לולד אמצעיים קשה לאשה ויפה לולד אחרונים יפה לאשה ויפה לולד שמתוך כך נמצא הולד מלובן ומזורז,תנא המשמש מטתו ליום תשעים כאילו שופך דמים מנא ידע אלא אמר אביי משמש והולך (תהלים קטז, ו) ושומר פתאים ה',תנו רבנן שלשה שותפין יש באדם הקב"ה ואביו ואמו אביו מזריע הלובן שממנו עצמות וגידים וצפרנים ומוח שבראשו ולובן שבעין אמו מזרעת אודם שממנו עור ובשר ושערות ושחור שבעין והקב"ה נותן בו רוח ונשמה וקלסתר פנים וראיית העין ושמיעת האוזן ודבור פה והלוך רגלים ובינה והשכל,וכיון שהגיע זמנו להפטר מן העולם הקב"ה נוטל חלקו וחלק אביו ואמו מניח לפניהם אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי פוץ מלחא ושדי בשרא לכלבא,דרש רב חיננא בר פפא מאי דכתיב (איוב ט, י) עושה גדולות עד אין חקר ונפלאות עד אין מספר בא וראה שלא כמדת הקב"ה מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם נותן חפץ בחמת צרורה ופיה למעלה ספק משתמר ספק אין משתמר ואילו הקב"ה צר העובר במעי אשה פתוחה ופיה למטה ומשתמר,דבר אחר אדם נותן חפציו לכף מאזנים כל זמן שמכביד יורד למטה ואילו הקב"ה כל זמן שמכביד הולד עולה למעלה,דרש רבי יוסי הגלילי מאי דכתיב {תהילים קל״ט:י״ד } אודך (ה') על כי נוראות נפליתי נפלאים מעשיך ונפשי יודעת מאד בא וראה שלא כמדת הקב"ה מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם אדם נותן זרעונים בערוגה כל אחת ואחת עולה במינו ואילו הקב"ה צר העובר במעי אשה וכולם עולין למין אחד,דבר אחר צבע נותן סמנין ליורה כולן עולין לצבע אחד ואילו הקב"ה צר העובר במעי אשה כל אחת ואחת עולה למינו,דרש רב יוסף מאי דכתיב (ישעיהו יב, א) אודך ה' כי אנפת בי ישוב אפך ותנחמני במה הכתוב מדבר,בשני בני אדם שיצאו לסחורה ישב לו קוץ לאחד מהן התחיל מחרף ומגדף לימים שמע שטבעה ספינתו של חבירו בים התחיל מודה ומשבח לכך נאמר ישוב אפך ותנחמני,והיינו דאמר רבי אלעזר מאי דכתיב (תהלים עב, יח) עושה נפלאות (גדולות) לבדו וברוך שם כבודו לעולם אפילו בעל הנס אינו מכיר בנסו,דריש רבי חנינא בר פפא מאי דכתיב (תהלים קלט, ג) ארחי ורבעי זרית וכל דרכי הסכנת מלמד שלא נוצר אדם מן כל הטפה אלא מן הברור שבה תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל משל לאדם שזורה בבית הגרנות נוטל את האוכל ומניח את הפסולת,כדרבי אבהו דרבי אבהו רמי כתיב (שמואל ב כב, מ) ותזרני חיל וכתיב (תהלים יח, לג) האל המאזרני חיל אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע זיריתני וזרזתני,דרש רבי אבהו מאי דכתיב (במדבר כג, י) מי מנה עפר יעקב ומספר את רובע ישראל מלמד שהקב"ה יושב וסופר את רביעיותיהם של ישראל מתי תבא טיפה שהצדיק נוצר הימנה,ועל דבר זה נסמית עינו של בלעם הרשע אמר מי שהוא טהור וקדוש ומשרתיו טהורים וקדושים יציץ בדבר זה מיד נסמית עינו דכתיב (במדבר כד, ג) נאם הגבר שתום העין,והיינו דאמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב (בראשית ל, טז) וישכב עמה בלילה הוא מלמד שהקב"ה סייע באותו מעשה שנאמר (בראשית מט, יד) יששכר חמור גרם חמור גרם לו ליששכר,אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחילה יולדת נקבה שנאמר (ויקרא יג, כט) אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר,תנו רבנן בראשונה היו אומרים אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחלה יולדת נקבה ולא פירשו חכמים את הדבר עד שבא רבי צדוק ופירשו (בראשית מו, טו) אלה בני לאה אשר ילדה ליעקב בפדן ארם ואת דינה בתו תלה הזכרים בנקבות ונקבות בזכרים,(דברי הימים א ח, מ) ויהיו בני אולם אנשים גבורי חיל דורכי קשת ומרבים בנים ובני בנים וכי בידו של אדם להרבות בנים ובני בנים אלא מתוך 31a. bWhat is the versefrom which it is derived that a fetus is administered an oath on the day of its birth? “Upon You I have relied from birth; bYou are He Who took me out [ igozi /i] of my mother’s womb”(Psalms 71:6). bFrom where mayit bbe inferred that thisword: b“ iGozi /i,” is a term of administering an oath? As it is written: “Cut off [ igozi /i] your hair and cast it away”(Jeremiah 7:29), which is interpreted as a reference to the vow of a nazirite, who must cut off his hair at the end of his term of naziriteship., bAnd Rabbi Elazar says: To what is a fetus in its mother’s womb comparable?It is comparable bto a nut placed in a basinfull bof water,floating on top of the water. If ba person puts his finger on top ofthe nut, bit sinkseither bin this direction or in that direction. /b,§ bThe Sages taughtin a ibaraita /i: During bthe first three monthsof pregcy, the bfetus resides in the lower compartmentof the womb; in the bmiddlethree months, the bfetus resides in the middle compartment;and during the blastthree months of pregcy the bfetus resides in the upper compartment. And once its time to emerge arrives, it turns upside down and emerges; and this iswhat causes blabor pains. /b,With regard to the assertion that labor pains are caused by the fetus turning upside down, the Gemara notes: bAnd this isthe explanation for bthat which we learnedin a ibaraita /i: bThe labor pains experienced bya woman who gives birth to ba female are greater thanthose bexperienced bya woman who gives birth to ba male.The Gemara will explain this below., bAnd Rabbi Elazar says: What is the versefrom which it is derived that a fetus initially resides in the lower part of the womb? b“When I was made in secret, and I was woven together in the lowest parts of the earth”(Psalms 139:15). Since it bis not stated: I residedin the lowest parts of the earth, bbut rather: “I was woven togetherin the lowest parts of the earth,” this teaches that during the initial stage of a fetus’s development, when it is woven together, its location is in the lower compartment of the womb.,The Gemara asks: bWhat is differentabout bthe labor pains experienced bya woman who gives birth to ba female,that they bare greater than those experienced bya woman who gives birth to ba male?The Gemara answers: bThisone, a male fetus, bemerges in the manner in which it engages in intercourse.Just as a male engages in intercourse facing downward, so too, it is born while facing down. bAnd thatone, a female fetus, bemerges in the manner in which it engages in intercourse,i.e., facing upward. Consequently, bthatone, a female fetus, bturns its face aroundbefore it is born, bbut thisone, a male fetus, bdoes not turn its face aroundbefore it is born.,§ bThe Sages taughtin a ibaraita /i: During bthe first three monthsof pregcy, bsexual intercourse is difficultand harmful bfor the woman and is also difficult for the offspring.During the bmiddlethree months, intercourse is bdifficult for the woman but is beneficial for the offspring.During the blastthree months, sexual intercourse is bbeneficial for the woman and beneficial for the offspring; as a result of it the offspring is found to be strong and fair skinned. /b,The Sages btaughtin a ibaraita /i: With regard to bone who engages in intercoursewith his wife bon the ninetieth dayof her pregcy, bit is as though he spillsher bblood.The Gemara asks: bHow does one knowthat it is the ninetieth day of her pregcy? bRather, Abaye says: One should go ahead and engage in intercoursewith his wife even if it might be the ninetieth day, bandrely on God to prevent any ensuing harm, as the verse states: b“The Lord preserves the simple”(Psalms 116:6).,§ bThe Sages taught: There are three partners inthe creation of ba person: The Holy One, Blessed be He, and his father, and his mother. His father emits the white seed, from whichthe following body parts are formed: The bbones,the bsinews,the bnails,the bbrain that is in its head, andthe bwhite of the eye. His mother emits red seed, from whichare formed the bskin,the bflesh,the bhair, andthe bblack of the eye. And the Holy One, Blessed be He, inserts into him a spirit, a soul,his bcountece [ iukelaster /i], eyesight, hearing of the ear,the capability of bspeechof bthe mouth,the capability of bwalkingwith bthe legs, understanding, and wisdom. /b, bAnd whena person’s btime to depart from the world arrives, the Holy One, Blessed be He, retrieves His part, and He leaves the part ofthe person’s bfather and mother before them. Rav Pappa said: Thisis in accordance with the adage bthat people say: Remove the saltfrom a piece of meat, bandyou may then btoss the meat to a dog,as it has become worthless.,§ bRav Ḥina bar Pappa taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written: “Who does great deeds beyond comprehension, wondrous deeds without number”(Job 9:10)? bCome and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and bloodis that if one bputs an article in a flask,even if the flask is btied and its openingfaces bupward, it is uncertain whetherthe item bis preservedfrom getting lost, band it is uncertain whether it is not preservedfrom being lost. bBut the Holy One, Blessed be He, forms the fetus in a woman’s open womb, and its openingfaces bdownward, andyet the fetus bis preserved. /b, bAnother matterthat demonstrates the difference between the attributes of God and the attributes of people is that when ba person places his articles on a scaleto be measured, bthe heavierthe item bis,the more bit descends. Butwhen bthe Holy One, Blessed be He,forms a fetus, bthe heavier the offspring gets,the more bit ascends upwardin the womb., bRabbi Yosei HaGelili taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written: “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and that my soul knows very well”(Psalms 139:14)? bCome and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and bloodis that when ba person plants seedsof different species binone bgarden bed, each and every oneof the seeds bemergesas a grown plant baccording to its species. But the Holy One, Blessed be He, forms the fetus in a woman’s womb, and all ofthe seeds, i.e., those of both the father and the mother, bemergewhen the offspring is formed bas onesex., bAlternatively,when ba dyer puts herbs in a cauldron [ ileyora /i], they all emerge as one colorof dye, bwhereas the Holy One, Blessed be He, forms the fetus in a woman’s womb,and beach and every oneof the seeds bemerges as its own type.In other words, the seed of the father form distinct elements, such as the white of the eye, and the seed of the mother forms other elements, such as the black of the eye, as explained above., bRav Yosef taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written:“And on that day you shall say: bI will give thanks to You, Lord, for You were angry with me; Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me”(Isaiah 12:1)? bWith regard to whatmatter bis the verse speaking? /b,It is referring, for example, bto two people who lefttheir homes to go bon a businesstrip. bA thorn penetratedthe body bof one of them,and he was consequently unable to go with his colleague. bHe started blaspheming and cursingin frustration. bAfter a period of time, he heard that the ship of the otherperson bhad sunk in the sea,and realized that the thorn had saved him from death. He then bstarted thankingGod band praisingHim for his delivery due to the slight pain caused to him by the thorn. This is the meaning of the statement: I will give thanks to You, Lord, for You were angry with me. bTherefore, it is statedat the end of the verse: b“Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.” /b, bAnd thisstatement bisidentical to bthat which Rabbi Elazar said: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written:“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, bWho does wondrous things alone; and blessed be His glorious name forever”(Psalms 72:18–19)? What does it mean that God “does wondrous things alone”? It means that beven the one for whom the miracle was performed does not recognize the miraclethat was performed for bhim. /b, bRabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written: “You measure [ izerita /i] my going about [ iorḥi /i] and my lying down [ iriv’i /i], and are acquainted with all my ways”(Psalms 139:3)? This verse bteaches that a person is not created from the entire dropof semen, bbut from its clearpart. iZeritacan mean to winnow, while iorḥiand iriv’ican both be explained as references to sexual intercourse. Therefore the verse is interpreted homiletically as saying that God separates the procreative part of the semen from the rest. bThe school of Rabbi Yishmael taught a parable:This matter is comparable bto a person who winnowsgrain bin the granary; he takes the food and leaves the waste. /b,This is bin accordance witha statement bof Rabbi Abbahu, as Rabbi Abbahu raises a contradiction: It is writtenin one of King David’s psalms: b“For You have girded me [ ivatazreni /i] with strength for battle”(II Samuel 22:40), without the letter ialefin ivatazreni /i; band it is writtenin another psalm: b“Who girds me [ ihame’azreni /i] with strength”(Psalms 18:33), with an ialefin ihame’azreini /i. What is the difference between these two expressions? bDavid said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, You selected me [ izeiritani /i],i.e., You separated between the procreative part and the rest of the semen in order to create me, band You have girded me [ izeraztani /i] with strength. /b, bRabbi Abbahu taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is writtenin Balaam’s blessing: b“Who has counted the dust of Jacob, or numbered the stock [ irova /i] of Israel”(Numbers 23:10)? The verse bteaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and counts the times that the Jewish people engage in intercourse [ irevi’iyyoteihem /i],anticipating the time bwhen the drop from which the righteous person will be created will arrive. /b, bAndit was bdue to this matterthat bthe eye of wicked Balaam went blind. He said: ShouldGod, bwho is pure and holy, and whose ministers are pure and holy, peek at this matter? Immediately his eye was blindedas a divine punishment, bas it is written: “The saying of the man whose eye is shut”(Numbers 24:3)., bAnd thisstatement bisthe same as that bwhich Rabbi Yoḥa said: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written,with regard to Leah’s conceiving Issachar: b“And he lay with her that night”(Genesis 30:16)? The verse bteaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, contributed to that act.The manner in which God contributed to this act is derived from another verse, bas it is stated: “Issachar is a large-boned [ igarem /i] donkey”(Genesis 49:14). This teaches that God directed Jacob’s bdonkeytoward Leah’s tent so that he would engage in intercourse with her, thereby bcausing [ igaram /i]Leah’s conceiving bIssachar. /b,§ bRabbi Yitzḥak saysthat bRabbi Ami says:The sex of a fetus is determined at the moment of conception. If the bwoman emits seed first, she gives birth to a male,and if the bman emits seed first, she gives birth to a female, as it is stated: “If a woman bears seed and gives birth to a male”(Leviticus 12:2)., bThe Sages taught: At first,people bwould saythat if the bwoman emits seed first she gives birth to a male,and if the bman emits seed first, she gives birth to a female. But the Sages did not explainfrom which verse this bmatteris derived, buntil Rabbi Tzadok came and explainedthat bitis derived from the following verse: b“These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, with his daughter Dinah”(Genesis 46:15). From the fact that the verse battributes the males to the females,as the males are called: The sons of Leah, bandit attributes bthe females to the males, /bin that Dinah is called: His daughter, it is derived that if the woman emits seed first she gives birth to a male, whereas if the man emits seed first, she bears a female.,This statement is also derived from the following verse: b“And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and sons’ sons”(I Chronicles 8:40). bIs it in a person’s power to have many sons and sons’ sons? Rather, because /b
26. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 4.6-4.8 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4.6. 6.Chaeremon the Stoic, therefore, in his narration of the Egyptian priests, who, he says, were considered by the Egyptians as philosophers, informs us, that they chose temples, as the places in which they might philosophize. For to dwell with the statues of the Gods is a thing allied to the whole desire, by which the soul tends to the contemplation of their divinities. And from the divine veneration indeed, which was paid to them through dwelling in temples, they obtained security, all men honouring these philosophers, as if they were certain sacred animals. They also led a solitary life, as they only mingled with other men in solemn sacrifices and festivals. But at other times the priests were almost inaccessible to any one who wished to converse with them. For it was requisite that he who approached to them should be first purified, and abstain from many things; and this is as it were a common sacred law respecting the Egyptian priests. But these [philosophic priests], |116 having relinquished every other employment, and human labours,7 gave up the whole of their life to the contemplation and worship of divine natures and to divine inspiration; through the latter, indeed, procuring for themselves, honour, security, and piety; but through contemplation, science; and through both, a certain occult exercise of manners, worthy of antiquity8. For to be always conversant with divine knowledge and inspiration, removes those who are so from all avarice, suppresses the passions, and excites to an intellectual life. But they were studious of frugality in their diet and apparel, and also of continence and endurance, and in all things were attentive to justice and equity. They likewise were rendered venerable, through rarely mingling with other men. For during the time of what are called purifications, they scarcely mingled with their nearest kindred, and those of their own order, nor were they to be seen by anyone, unless it was requisite for the necessary purposes of purification. For the sanctuary was inaccessible to those who were not purified, and they dwelt in holy places for the purpose of performing divine works; but at all other times they associated more freely with those who lived like themselves. They did not, however, associate with any one who was not a religious character. But they were always seen near to the Gods, or the statues of the Gods, the latter of which they were beheld either carrying, or preceding in a sacred procession, or disposing in an orderly manner, with modesty and gravity; each of which operations was not the effect of pride, but an indication of some physical reason. Their venerable gravity also was apparent from their manners. For their walking was orderly, and their aspect sedate; and they were so studious of preserving this gravity of countece, that they did not even wink, when at any time they were unwilling to do so; and they seldom laughed, and when they did, their laughter proceeded no farther than to a smile. But they always kept their hands within their garments. Each likewise bore about him a symbol indicative of the order which he was allotted in sacred concerns; for there were many orders of priests. Their diet also was slender and simple. For, with respect to wine, some of them did not at all drink it, but others drank very little of it, on account of its being injurious to the |117 nerves, oppressive to the head, an impediment to invention, and an incentive to venereal desires. In many other things also they conducted themselves with caution; neither using bread at all in purifications, and at those times in which they were not employed in purifying themselves, they were accustomed to eat bread with hyssop, cut into small pieces. For it is said, that hyssop very much purifies the power of bread. But they, for the most part, abstained from oil, the greater number of them entirely; and if at any time they used it with pot-herbs, they took very little of it, and only as much as was sufficient to mitigate the taste of the herbs. SPAN 4.7. 7.It was not lawful for them therefore to meddle with the esculent and potable substances, which were produced out of Egypt, and this contributed much to the exclusion of luxury from these priests. But they abstained from all the fish that was caught in Egypt, and from such quadrupeds as had solid, or many-fissured hoofs, and from such as were not horned; and likewise from all such birds as were carnivorous. Many of them, however, entirely abstained from all animals; and in purifications this abstinence was adopted by all of them, for then they did not even eat an egg. Moreover, they also rejected other things, without being calumniated for so doing. Thus, for instance, of oxen, they rejected the females, and also such of the males as were twins, or were speckled, or of a different colour, or alternately varied in their form, or which were now tamed, as having been already consecrated to labours, and resembled animals that are honoured, or which were the images of any thing [that is divine], or those that had but one eye, or those that verged to a similitude of the human form. There are also innumerable other observations pertaining to the art of those who are called mosxofragistai, or who stamp calves with a seal, and of which books have been composed. But these observations are still more curious respecting birds; as, for instance, that a turtle should not be eaten; for it is said that a hawk frequently dismisses this bird after he has seized it, and preserves its life, as a reward for having had connexion with it. The Egyptian priests, therefore, that they might not ignorantly meddle with a turtle of this kind, avoided the whole species of those birds. And these indeed were certain common religious ceremonies; but there were different ceremonies, which varied according to the class of the priests that used them, and were adapted to the several divinities. But chastity and purifications were common to all the priests. When also the time arrived in which they were to perform something pertaining to the sacred rites of religion, they spent some days in preparatory ceremonies, some indeed forty-two, but others a greater, and |118 others a less number of days; yet never less than seven days; and during this time they abstained from all animals, and likewise from all pot-herbs and leguminous substances, and, above all, from a venereal connexion with women; for they never at any time had connexion with males. They likewise washed themselves with cold water thrice every day; viz. when they rose from their bed, before dinner, and when they betook themselves to sleep. But if they happened to be polluted in their sleep by the emission of the seed, they immediately purified their body in a bath. They also used cold bathing at other times, but not so frequently as on the above occasion. Their bed was woven from the branches of the palm tree, which they call bais; and their bolster was a smooth semi-cylindric piece of wood. But they exercised themselves in the endurance of hunger and thirst, and were accustomed to paucity of food through the whole of their life. SPAN 4.8. 8.This also is a testimony of their continence, that, though they neither exercised themselves in walking or riding, yet they lived free from disease, and were sufficiently strong for the endurance of modern labours. They bore therefore many burdens in the performance of sacred operations, and accomplished many ministrant works, which required more than common strength. But they divided the night into the observation of the celestial bodies, and sometimes devoted a part of it to offices of purification; and they distributed the day into the worship of the Gods, according to which they celebrated them with hymns thrice or four times, viz. in the morning and evening, when the sun is at his meridian altitude, and when he is declining to the west. The rest of their time they devoted to arithmetical and geometrical speculations, always labouring to effect something, and to make some new discovery, and, in short, continually exercising their skill. In winter nights also they were occupied in the same employments, being vigilantly engaged in literary pursuits, as paying no attention to the acquisition of externals, and being liberated from the servitude of that bad master, excessive expense. Hence their unwearied and incessant labour testifies their endurance, but their continence is manifested by their liberation from the desire of external good. To sail from Egypt likewise, [i.e. to quit Egypt,] was considered by them to be one of the most unholy things, in consequence of their being careful to avoid foreign luxury and pursuits; for this appeared to them to be alone lawful to those who were compelled to do so by regal necessities. Indeed, they were very anxious to continue in the observance of the institutes of their country, and those who were found to have violated them, though but in a small degree were expelled [from the college of the priests]. The |119 true method of philosophizing, likewise, was preserved by the prophets, by the hierostolistae 9, and the sacred scribes, and also by the horologi, or calculators of nativities. But the rest of the priests, and of the pastophori 10, curators of temples, and ministers of the Gods, were similarly studious of purity, yet not so accurately, and with such great continence, as the priests of whom we have been speaking. And such are the particulars which are narrated of the Egyptians, by a man who was a lover of truth, and an accurate writer, and who among the Stoics strenuously and solidly philosophized. SPAN
27. Strabo, Geography, 15.1.59-15.1.60

15.1.59. Megasthenes divides the philosophers again into two kinds, the Brachmanes and the Garmanes. The Brachmanes are held in greater repute, for they agree more exactly in their opinions. Even from the time of their conception in the womb they are under the care and guardianship of learned men, who go to the mother, and seem to perform some incantation for the happiness and welfare of the mother and the unborn child, but in reality they suggest prudent advice, and the mothers who listen to them most willingly are thought to be the most fortunate in their offspring. After the birth of the children, there is a succession of persons who have the care of them, and as they advance in years, masters more able and accomplished succeed.The philosophers live in a grove in front of the city within a moderate-sized enclosure. Their diet is frugal, and they lie upon straw pallets and on skins. They abstain from animal food, and from sexual intercourse with women; their time is occupied in grave discourse, and they communicate with those who are inclined to listen to them; but the hearer is not permitted to speak or cough, or even to spit on the ground; otherwise, he is expelled that very day from their society, on the ground of having no control over himself. After living thirty-seven years in this manner, each individual retires to his own possessions, and lives with less restraint, wearing robes of fine linen, and rings of gold, but without profuseness, upon the hands and in the ears. They eat the flesh of animals, of those particularly which do not assist man in his labour, and abstain from hot and seasoned food. They have as many wives as they please with a view to numerous offspring, for from many wives greater advantages are derived.As they have no slaves, they require more the services, which are at hand, of their children.The Brachmanes do not communicate their philosophy to their wives, for fear they should divulge to the profane, if they became depraved, anything which ought to be concealed or lest they should abandon their husbands in case they became good (philosophers) themselves. For no one who despises alike pleasure and pain, life and death, is willing to be subject to the authority of another; and such is the character of a virtuous man and a virtuous woman.They discourse much on death, for it is their opinion that the present life is the state of one conceived in the womb, and that death to philosophers is birth to a real and a happy life. They therefore discipline themselves much to prepare for death, and maintain that nothing which happens to man is bad or good, for otherwise the same things would not be the occasion of sorrow to some and of joy to others, opinions being merely dreams, nor that the same persons could be affected with sorrow and joy by the same things, on different occasions.With regard to opinions on physical phenomena, they display, says Megasthenes, great simplicity, their actions being better than their reasoning, for their belief is chiefly founded on fables. On many subjects their sentiments are the same as those of the Greeks. According to the Brachmanes, the world was created, and is liable to corruption; it is of a spheroidal figure; the god who made and governs it pervades the whole of it; the principles of all things are different, but the principle of the world's formation was water; in addition to the four elements there is a fifth nature, of which the heavens and the stars are composed; the earth is situated in the centre of the universe. Many other peculiar things they say of the principle of generation and of the soul. They invent fables also, after the manner of Plato, on the immortality of the soul, and on the punishments in Hades, and other things of this kind. This is the account which Megasthenes gives of the Brachmanes. 15.1.60. of the Garmanes, the most honourable, he says, are the Hylobii, who live in the forests, and subsist on leaves and wild fruits: they are clothed with garments made of the bark of trees, and abstain from commerce with women and from wine. The kings hold communication with them by messengers, concerning the causes of things, and through them worship and supplicate the Divinity.Second in honour to the Hylobii, are the physicians, for they apply philosophy to the study of the nature of man. They are of frugal habits, but do not live in the fields, and subsist upon rice and meal, which every one gives when asked, and receive them hospitably. They are able to cause persons to have a numerous offspring, and to have either male or female children, by means of charms. They cure diseases by diet, rather than by medicinal remedies. Among the latter, the most in repute are unguents and cataplasms. All others they suppose partake greatly of a noxious nature.Both this and the other class of persons practise fortitude, as well in supporting active toil as in enduring suffering, so that they will continue a whole day in the same posture, without motion.There are enchanters and diviners, versed in the rites and customs relative to the dead, who go about villages and towns begging. There are others who are more civilized and better informed than these, who inculcate the vulgar opinions concerning Hades, which, according to their ideas, tend to piety and sanctity. Women study philosophy with some of them, but abstain from sexual intercourse.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aaron Brooten (1982), Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue, 87
alexander Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
alexandria Brooten (1982), Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue, 87; Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326; Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 166, 170; Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
anaxagoras Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 239
apologetic Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
apologetic treatises Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
apuleius Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 176
asceticism Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
assyrians Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
augustus (octavian) Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
babylonians Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
bacchus and bacchic rites Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 176
brahmins Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
buddhism,sarmanae Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
buddhism Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
burchard,c. Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
celts Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
chaeremon,description of egyptian priests Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158, 160
chaeremon Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158, 160; Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
chaeremon the stoic,on the egyptian priests Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 10, 239, 282
chaeremon the stoic Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 10
chaldeans Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
colson,f. Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
druids Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
edfu (= apollinopolis magna) Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
egyptian Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
egyptian priests,and jewish therapeutae Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158, 160
egyptian priests,chaeremonss image of Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158, 160
essenes (see also qumran) Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
faith Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
godlikeness Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
greek,ethnos Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
india,and gymnosophists Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
india Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158
josephus,on the essenes Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158
judean (geographical-political) Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
knowledge Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
kraft,r. a. Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
leontopolis Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
marriage (see also divorce) Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
mendels,d. Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
monastic judeans Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
mystery cult Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
names (as ethnic-religious markers) Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
observance Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
onias iv,land of onias Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
onias iv,temple of onias (leontopolis) Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
ostraca arabic,greek Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
papyri,as evidence for jews in egypt Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
papyri,greek Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
persia,magi and Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
philo,description of the essenes Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158
philo,description of therapeutae Schliesser et al. (2021), Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World. 158, 160
philo of alexandria,and the philosophical lifestyle Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
philo of alexandria Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103; Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
philos essenes Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
pleasure Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
porphyry Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
practices Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
qumran,cemetery site at Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
religion Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
revelation Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
rhetoric,rhetorical Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
rites/rituals Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
runia,d.t. Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
soul Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
symbol Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103
system,halakhic ~ Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
taylor,j. e.,analysis of the therapeutrides Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
therapeutae,first six days Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
therapeutae,food and clothing of members Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
therapeutae,seventh day Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
therapeutae Salvesen et al. (2020), Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period, 326
therapeutae (masc. pl) Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
therapeutrides (fem. pl) Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
therapeuts Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 65
therapeuō,meaning Kraemer (2010), Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, 58
virtue' Taylor (2012), The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea, 25
wisdom Hirsch-Luipold (2022), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts, 103