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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9697
Porphyry, On Abstinence, 2.37


nanThe first God being incorporeal, immoveable, and impartible, and neither subsisting in any thing, nor restrained in his energies, is not, as has been before observed, in want of any thing external to himself, as neither is the soul of the world; but this latter, containing in itself the principle of that which is triply divisible, and being naturally self-motive, is adapted to be moved in a beautiful and orderly manner, and also to move the body of the world, according to the most excellent reasons [i.e. productive principles or powers]. It is, however, connected with and comprehends body, though it is itself incorporeal, and liberated from the participation of any passion. To the remaining Gods, therefore, to the world, to the inerratic and erratic stars, who are visible Gods, consisting of soul and body, thanks are to be returned after the above-mentioned manner, through sacrifices from inanimate natures. The multitude, therefore, of those invisible beings remains for us, whom Plato indiscriminately calls daemons; but of these, some being denominated by men, obtain from them honours, and other religious observances, similar to those which are paid to the Gods; but others, who for the most part are not explicitly denominated, receive an occult religious reverence and appellation from certain persons in villages and certain cities; and the remaining multitude is called in common by the [67] name of daemons. The general persuasion, however, respecting all these invisible beings, is this, that if they become angry through being neglected, and deprived of the religious reverence which is due to them, they are noxious to those by whom they are thus neglected, and that they again become beneficent, if they are appeased by prayers, supplications, and sacrifices, and other similar rites.


nan37.The first God being incorporeal, immoveable, and impartible, and neither subsisting in any thing, nor restrained in his energies, is not, as has been before observed, in want of any thing external to himself, as neither is the soul of the world; but this latter, containing in itself the principle of that which is triply divisible, and being naturally self-motive, is adapted to be moved in a beautiful and orderly manner, and also to move the body of the world, according to the most excellent reasons [i.e. productive principles or powers]. It is, however, connected with and comprehends body, though it is itself incorporeal, and liberated from the participation of any passion. To the remaining Gods, therefore, to the world, to the inerratic and erratic stars, who are visible Gods, consisting of soul and body, thanks are to be returned after the above-mentioned manner, through sacrifices from inanimate natures. The multitude, therefore, of those invisible beings remains for us, whom Plato indiscriminately calls daemons 17; but of these, some being denominated by men, obtain from them honours, and other religious observances, similar to those which are paid to the Gods; but others, who for the most part are not explicitly denominated, receive an occult religious reverence and appellation from certain persons in villages and certain cities; and the remaining multitude is called in common by the |67 name of daemons. The general persuasion, however, respecting all these invisible beings, is this, that if they become angry through being neglected, and deprived of the religious reverence which is due to them, they are noxious to those by whom they are thus neglected, and that they again become beneficent, if they are appeased by prayers, supplications, and sacrifices, and other similar rites.


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

19 results
1. Aeschylus, Eumenides, 900 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

900. θέλξειν μʼ ἔοικας καὶ μεθίσταμαι κότου. Ἀθηνᾶ 900. It seems you will win me by your spells; I am letting go my anger. Athena
2. Euripides, Bacchae, 944 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

944. αἴρειν νιν· αἰνῶ δʼ ὅτι μεθέστηκας φρενῶν. Πενθεύς
3. Herodotus, Histories, 1.107, 1.120, 1.128, 1.132, 1.140, 7.19, 7.37, 7.43, 7.113, 7.191 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.107. Afterwards, Cyaxares died after a reign of forty years (among which I count the years of the Scythian domination) and his son Astyages inherited the sovereignty. Astyages had a daughter, whom he called Mandane: he dreamed that she urinated so much that she filled his city and flooded all of Asia . He communicated this vision to those of the Magi who interpreted dreams, and when he heard what they told him he was terrified; ,and presently, when Mandane was of marriageable age, he feared the vision too much to give her to any Mede worthy to marry into his family, but married her to a Persian called Cambyses, a man whom he knew to be wellborn and of a quiet temper: for Astyages held Cambyses to be much lower than a Mede of middle rank. 1.120. Thus Astyages punished Harpagus. But, to help him to decide about Cyrus, he summoned the same Magi who had interpreted his dream as I have said: and when they came, Astyages asked them how they had interpreted his dream. They answered as before, and said that the boy must have been made king had he lived and not died first. ,Then Astyages said, “The boy is safe and alive, and when he was living in the country the boys of his village made him king, and he duly did all that is done by true kings: for he assigned to each individually the roles of bodyguards and sentinels and messengers and everything else, and so ruled. And what do you think is the significance of this?” ,“If the boy is alive,” said the Magi, “and has been made king without premeditation, then be confident on this score and keep an untroubled heart: he will not be made king a second time. Even in our prophecies, it is often but a small thing that has been foretold and the consequences of dreams come to nothing in the end.” ,“I too, Magi,” said Astyages, “am very much of your opinion: that the dream came true when the boy was called king, and that I have no more to fear from him. Nevertheless consider well and advise me what will be safest both for my house and for you.” ,The Magi said, “O King, we too are very anxious that your sovereignty prosper: for otherwise, it passes from your nation to this boy who is a Persian, and so we Medes are enslaved and held of no account by the Persians, as we are of another blood, but while you, our countryman, are established king, we have our share of power, and great honor is shown us by you. ,Thus, then, we ought by all means to watch out for you and for your sovereignty. And if at the present time we saw any danger we would declare everything to you: but now the dream has had a trifling conclusion, and we ourselves are confident and advise you to be so also. As for this boy, send him out of your sight to the Persians and to his parents.” 1.128. Thus the Median army was shamefully scattered. As soon as Astyages heard, he sent a threatening message to Cyrus: “Nevertheless, Cyrus shall not rejoice”; ,and with that he took the Magi who interpreted dreams, who had persuaded him to let Cyrus go free, and impaled them; then he armed the Medes who were left in the city, the very young and very old men. ,Leading these out, and engaging the Persians, he was beaten: Astyages himself was taken prisoner, and lost the Median army which he led. 1.132. And this is their method of sacrifice to the aforesaid gods: when about to sacrifice, they do not build altars or kindle fire, employ libations, or music, or fillets, or barley meal: when a man wishes to sacrifice to one of the gods, he leads a beast to an open space and then, wearing a wreath on his tiara, of myrtle usually, calls on the god. ,To pray for blessings for himself alone is not lawful for the sacrificer; rather, he prays that the king and all the Persians be well; for he reckons himself among them. He then cuts the victim limb from limb into portions, and, after boiling the flesh, spreads the softest grass, trefoil usually, and places all of it on this. ,When he has so arranged it, a Magus comes near and chants over it the song of the birth of the gods, as the Persian tradition relates it; for no sacrifice can be offered without a Magus. Then after a little while the sacrificer carries away the flesh and uses it as he pleases. 1.140. So much I can say of them from my own certain knowledge. But there are other matters concerning the dead which are secretly and obscurely told: how the dead bodies of Persians are not buried before they have been mangled by birds or dogs. ,That this is the way of the Magi, I know for certain; for they do not conceal the practice. But this is certain, that before the Persians bury the body in earth they embalm it in wax. These Magi are as unlike the priests of Egypt as they are unlike all other men: ,for the priests consider it sacrilege to kill anything that lives, except what they sacrifice; but the Magi kill with their own hands every creature, except dogs and men; they kill all alike, ants and snakes, creeping and flying things, and take great pride in it. Leaving this custom to be such as it has been from the first, I return now to my former story. 7.19. Xerxes was now intent on the expedition and then saw a third vision in his sleep, which the Magi interpreted to refer to the whole earth and to signify that all men should be his slaves. This was the vision: Xerxes thought that he was crowned with an olive bough, of which the shoots spread over the whole earth, and then the crown vanished from off his head where it was set. ,The Magi interpreted it in this way, and immediately every single man of the Persians who had been assembled rode away to his own province and there used all zeal to fulfill the kings command, each desiring to receive the promised gifts. Thus it was that Xerxes mustered his army, searching out every part of the continent. 7.37. When the bridges and the work at Athos were ready, and both the dikes at the canal's entrances, built to prevent the surf from silting up the entrances of the dug passage, and the canal itself were reported to be now completely finished, the army then wintered. At the beginning of spring the army made ready and set forth from Sardis to march to Abydos. ,As it was setting out, the sun left his place in the heaven and was invisible, although the sky was without clouds and very clear, and the day turned into night. When Xerxes saw and took note of that, he was concerned and asked the Magi what the vision might signify. ,They declared to him that the god was showing the Greeks the abandonment of their cities; for the sun (they said) was the prophet of the Greeks, as the moon was their own. Xerxes rejoiced exceedingly to hear that and continued on his march. 7.43. When the army had come to the river Scamander, which was the first river after the beginning of their march from Sardis that fell short of their needs and was not sufficient for the army and the cattle to drink—arriving at this river, Xerxes ascended to the citadel of Priam, having a desire to see it. ,After he saw it and asked about everything there, he sacrificed a thousand cattle to Athena of Ilium, and the Magi offered libations to the heroes. After they did this, a panic fell upon the camp in the night. When it was day they journeyed on from there, keeping on their left the cities of Rhoetium and Ophryneum and Dardanus, which borders Abydos, and on their right the Teucrian Gergithae. 7.113. Marching past the Paeonians, Doberes, and Paeoplae, who dwell beyond and northward of the Pangaean mountains, he kept going westwards, until he came to the river Strymon and the city of Eion; its governor was that Boges, then still alive, whom I mentioned just before this. ,All this region about the Pangaean range is called Phyllis; it stretches westwards to the river Angites, which issues into the Strymon, and southwards to the Strymon itself; at this river the Magi sought good omens by sacrificing white horses. 7.191. There was no counting how many grain-ships and other vessels were destroyed. The generals of the fleet were afraid that the Thessalians might attack them now that they had been defeated, so they built a high palisade out of the wreckage. ,The storm lasted three days. Finally the Magi made offerings and cast spells upon the wind, sacrificing also to Thetis and the Nereids. In this way they made the wind stop on the fourth day—or perhaps it died down on its own. They sacrificed to Thetis after hearing from the Ionians the story that it was from this place that Peleus had carried her off and that all the headland of Sepia belonged to her and to the other Nereids.
4. Hippocrates, The Sacred Disease, 1.10 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

5. Plato, Laws, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

909b. or open to bribes, despise men, charming the souls of many of the living, and claiming that they charm the souls of the dead, and promising to persuade the gods by bewitching them, as it were, with sacrifices, prayers and incantations, and who try thus to wreck utterly not only individuals, but whole families and States for the sake of money,—if any of these men be pronounced guilty, the court shall order him to be imprisoned according to law in the mid-country jail
6. Plato, Republic, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

572e. to be repeated in his case. He is drawn toward utter lawlessness, which is called by his seducers complete freedom. His father and his other kin lend support to these compromise appetites while the others lend theirs to the opposite group. And when these dread magi and king-makers come to realize that they have no hope of controlling the youth in any other way, they contrive to engender in his soul a ruling passion to be the protector
7. Plato, Symposium, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

8. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

32b. had had to come into existence as a plane surface, having no depth, one middle term would have sufficed to bind together both itself and its fellow-terms; but now it is otherwise: for it behoved it to be solid of shape, and what brings solids into unison is never one middle term alone but always two. Thus it was that in the midst between fire and earth God set water and air, and having bestowed upon them so far as possible a like ratio one towards another—air being to water as fire to air, and water being to earth as air to water, —he joined together and constructed a Heaven visible and tangible. For these reason
9. Sophocles, Oedipus The King, 387 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

10. Aeschines, Letters, 3.137 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

11. Plutarch, On The Obsolescence of Oracles, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

417c. in which it is possible to gain the clearest reflections and adumbrations of the truth about the demigods, 'let my lips be piously sealed,' as Herodotus says; but as for festivals and sacrifices, which may be compared with ill-omened and gloomy days, in which occur the eating of raw flesh, rending of victims, fasting, and beating of breasts, and again in many places scurrilous language at the shrines, and Frenzy and shouting of throngs in excitement With tumultuous tossing of heads in the air, Ishould say that these acts are not performed for any god, but are soothing and appeasing rites for the averting of evil spirits. Nor is it credible that the gods demanded or welcomed the human sacrifices of ancient days
12. Apuleius, On The God of Socrates, 11-13, 3-10 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. Iamblichus, Concerning The Mysteries, 3.31 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

14. Plotinus, Enneads, 1.2, 2.9, 3.5.6 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

15. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 1.7-1.12, 2.36, 2.37.1, 2.37.4-2.37.5, 2.38-2.47, 2.38.2, 2.49, 2.51-2.54, 2.56, 4.20 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

1.7. 7.The Epicureans, however, narrating, as it were, a long genealogy, say, that the ancient legislators, looking to the association of life, and the mutual actions of men, proclaimed that manslaughter was unholy, and punished it with no casual disgrace. Perhaps, indeed, a certain natural alliance which exists in men towards each other, though the similitude of form and soul, is the reason why they do not so readily destroy an animal of this kind, as some of the other animals which are conceded to our use. Nevertheless, the greatest cause why manslaughter was considered as a thing grievous to be borne, and impious, was the opinion that it did not contribute to the whole nature and condition of human life. For, from a principle of this kind, those who are capable of perceiving the advantage arising from this decree, require no other cause of being restrained from a deed so dire. But those who are not able to have a sufficient perception of this, being terrified by the magnitude of the punishment, will abstain from readily destroying each other. For those, indeed, who survey the utility of the before-mentioned ordice, will promptly observe it; but those who are not able to perceive the benefit with which it is attended, will obey the mandate, in consequence of fearing the threatenings of the laws; which threatenings certain persons ordained for the sake of those who could not, by a reasoning process, infer the beneficial tendency of the decree, at the same time that most would admit this to be evident. SPAN 1.8. 8.For none of those legal institutes which were established from the |15 first, whether written or unwritten, and which still remain, and are adapted to be transmitted, [from one generation to another] became lawful through violence, but through the consent of those that used them. For those who introduced things of this kind to the multitude, excelled in wisdom, and not in strength of body, and the power which subjugates the rabble. Hence, through this, some were led to a rational consideration of utility, of which they had only an irrational sensation, and which they had frequently forgotten; but others were terrified by the magnitude of the punishments. For it was not possible to use any other remedy for the ignorance of what is beneficial than the dread of the punishment ordained by law. For this alone even now keeps the vulgar in awe, and prevents them from doing any thing, either publicly or privately, which is not beneficial [to the community]. But if all men were similarly capable of surveying and recollecting what is advantageous, there would be no need of laws, but men would spontaneously avoid such things as are prohibited, and perform such as they were ordered to do. For a survey of what is useful and detrimental, is a sufficient incentive to the avoidance of the one and the choice of the other. But the infliction of punishment has a reference to those who do not foresee what is beneficial. For impendent punishment forcibly compels such as these to subdue those impulses which lead them to useless actions, and to do that which is right. SPAN 1.9. 9.Hence also, legislators ordained, that even involuntary manslaughter should not be entirely void of punishment; in order that they might not only afford no pretext for the voluntary imitation of those deeds which were involuntarily performed, but also that they might prevent many things of this kind from taking place, which happen, in reality, involuntarily. For neither is this advantageous through the same causes, by which men were forbidden voluntarily to destroy each other. Since, therefore, of involuntary deeds, some proceed from a cause which is unstable, and which cannot be guarded against by human nature; but others are produced by our negligence and inattention to different circumstances; hence legislators, wishing to restrain that indolence which is injurious to our neighbours, did not even leave an involuntary noxious deed without punishment, but, through the fear of penalties, prevented the commission of numerous offences of this kind. I also am of opinion, that the slaughters which are allowed by law, and which receive their accustomed expiations through certain purifications, were introduced by those ancient legislators, who first very properly instituted these things for no other reason than that they wished to prevent men as much as possible from voluntary slaughter. For the |16 vulgar everywhere require something which may impede them from promptly performing what is not advantageous [to the community]. Hence those who first perceived this to be the case, not only ordained the punishment of fines, but also excited a certain other irrational dread, though proclaiming those not to be pure who in any way whatever had slain a man, unless they used purifications after the commission of the deed. For that part of the soul which is void of intellect, being variously disciplined, acquired a becoming mildness, certain taming arts having been from the first invented for the purpose of subduing the irrational impulses of desire, by those who governed the people. And one of the precepts promulgated on this occasion was, that men should not destroy each other without discrimination. SPAN 1.10. 10.Those, however, who first defined what we ought to do, and what we ought not, very properly did not forbid us to kill other animals. For the advantage arising from these is effected by a contrary practice, since it is not possible that men could be preserved, unless they endeavoured to defend those who are nurtured with themselves from the attacks of other animals. At that time, therefore, some of those, of the most elegant manners, recollecting that they abstained from slaughter because it was useful to the public safety, they also reminded the rest of the people in their mutual associations of what was the consequence of this abstinence; in order that, by refraining from the slaughter of their kindred, they might preserve that communion which greatly contributes to the peculiar safety of each individual. But it was not only found to be useful for men not to separate from each other, and not to do any thing injurious to those who were collected together in the same place, for the purpose of repelling the attacks of animals of another species; but also for defence against men whose design was to act nefariously. To a certain extent, therefore, they abstained from the slaughter of men, for these reasons, viz. in order that there might be a communion among them in things that are necessary, and that a certain utility might be afforded in each of the above-mentioned incommodities. In the course of time, however, when the offspring of mankind, through their intercourse with each other, became more widely extended, and animals of a different species were expelled, certain persons directed their attention in a rational way to what was useful to men in their mutual nutriment, and did not alone recall this to their memory in an irrational manner. SPAN 1.11. 11.Hence they endeavoured still more firmly to restrain those who readily destroyed each other, and who, through an oblivion of past |17 transactions, prepared a more imbecile defence. But in attempting to effect this, they introduced those legal institutes which still remain in cities and nations; the multitude spontaneously assenting to them, in consequence of now perceiving, in a greater degree, the advantage arising from an association with each other. For the destruction of every thing noxious, and the preservation of that which is subservient to its extermination, similarly contribute to a fearless life. And hence it is reasonable to suppose, that one of the above-mentioned particulars was forbidden, but that the other was not prohibited. Nor must it be said, that the law allows us to destroy some animals which are not corruptive of human nature, and which are not in any other way injurious to our life. For as I may say, no animal among those which the law permits us to kill is of this kind; since, if we suffered them to increase excessively, they would become injurious to us. But through the number of them which is now preserved, certain advantages are imparted to human life. For sheep and oxen, and every such like animal, when the number of them is moderate, are beneficial to our necessary wants; but if they become redundant in the extreme, and far exceed the number which is sufficient, they then become detrimental to our life; the latter by employing their strength, in consequence of participating of this through an innate power of nature, and the former, by consuming the nutriment which springs up from the earth for our benefit alone. Hence, through this cause, the slaughter of animals of this kind is not prohibited, in order that as many of them as are sufficient for our use, and which we may be able easily to subdue, may be left. For it is not with horses, oxen, and sheep, and with all tame animals, as it is with lions and wolves, and, in short, with all such as are called savage animals, that, whether the number of them is small or great, no multitude of them can be assumed, which, if left, would alleviate the necessity of our life. And on this account, indeed, we utterly destroy some of them; but of others, we take away as many as are found to be more than commensurate to our use. SPAN 1.12. 12.On this account, from the above-mentioned causes, it is similarly requisite to think, that what pertains to the eating of animals, was ordained by those who from the first established the laws; and that the advantageous and the disadvantageous were the causes why some animals were permitted to be eaten and others not. So that those who assert, that every thing beautiful and just subsists conformably to the peculiar opinions of men respecting those who establish the laws, are full of a certain most profound stupidity. For it is not possible that this thing can take place in any other way than that in which the other utilities of |18 life subsist, such as those that are salubrious, and an innumerable multitude of others. Erroneous opinions, however, are entertained in many particulars, both of a public and private nature. For certain persons do not perceive those legal institutes, which are similarly adapted to all men; but some, conceiving them to rank among things of an indifferent nature, omit them; while others, who are of a contrary opinion, think that such things as are not universally profitable, are every where advantageous. Hence, through this cause, they adhere to things which are unappropriate; though in certain particulars they discover what is advantageous to themselves, and what contributes to general utility. And among these are to be enumerated the eating of animals, and the legally ordained destructions which are instituted by most nations on account of the peculiarity of the region. It is not necessary, however, that these institutes should be preserved by us, because we do not dwell in the same place as those did by whom they were made. If, therefore, it was possible to make a certain compact with other animals in the same manner as with men, that we should not kill them, nor they us, and that they should not be indiscriminately destroyed by us, it would be well to extend justice as far as to this; for this extent of it would be attended with security. But since it is among things impossible, that animals which are not recipients of reason should participate with us of law, on this account, utility cannot be in a greater degree procured by security from other animals, than from iimate natures. But we can alone obtain security from the liberty which we now possess of putting them to death. And such are the arguments of the Epicureans. The Arguments of Claudius the Neapolitan who published a Treatise against Abstinence from Animal Food. SPAN 2.36. 36.The Pythagoreans, therefore, diligently applying themselves to the study of numbers and lines, sacrificed for the most part from these to the Gods, denominating, indeed, a certain number Minerva, but another Diana, and another Apollo: and again, they called one number justice, but another temperance 15. In diagrams also they adopted a similar mode. And thus, by offerings of this kind, they rendered the Gods propitious to them, so as to obtain of them the object of their wishes, by the things which they dedicated to, and the names by which they invoked them. They likewise frequently employed their aid in divination, and if they were in want of a certain thing for the purpose of some investigation. In order, therefore to affect this, they made use of the Gods within the heavens, both the erratic and non-erratic, of all of whom it is requisite to consider the sun as the leader; but to rank the moon in the second place; and we should conjoin with these fire, in the third place, from its |66 alliance to them, as the theologist 16 says. He also says that no animal is to be sacrificed; but that first-fruits are to be offered from meal and honey, and the vegetable productions of the earth. He adds, that fire is not to be enkindled on a hearth defiled with gore; and asserts other things of the like kind. For what occasion is there to transcribe all he says? For he who is studious of piety knows, indeed, that to the Gods no animal is to be sacrificed, but that a sacrifice of this kind pertains to daemons, and other powers, whether they are beneficent, or depraved1. He likewise knows who those are that ought to sacrifice to these, and to what extent they ought to proceed in the sacrifices which they make. Other things, however, will be passed over by me in silence. But what some Platonists have divulged, I shall lay before the reader, in order that the things proposed to be discussed, may become manifest to the intelligent. What they have unfolded, therefore, is as follows: SPAN 2.38. 38.But the confused notion which is formed of these beings, and which has proceeded to great crimination, necessarily requires that the nature of them should be distinguished according to reason. For perhaps it will be said, that it is requisite to show whence the error concerning them originated among men. The distinction, therefore, must be made after the following manner. Such souls as are the progeny of the whole soul of the universe, and who govern the great parts of the region under the moon, these, being incumbent on a pneumatic substance or spirit, and ruling over it conformably to reason, are to be considered as good daemons, who are diligently employed in causing every thing to be beneficial to the subjects of their government, whether they preside over certain animals, or fruits, which are arranged under their inspective care, or over things which subsist for the sake of these, such as showers of rain, moderate winds, serene weather, and other things which co-operate with these, such as the good temperament of the seasons of the year. They are also our leaders in the attainment of music, and the whole of erudition, and likewise of medicine and gymnastic, and of every thing else similar to these. For it is impossible that these daemons should impart utility, and yet become, in the very same things, the causes of what is detrimental. Among these two, those transporters, as Plato calls them, [in his Banquet] are to be enumerated, who announce the affairs of men to the Gods, and the will of the Gods to men; carrying our prayers, indeed, to the Gods as judges, but oracularly unfolding to us the exhortations and admonitions of the Gods. But such souls as do not rule over the pneumatic substance with which they are connected, but for the most part are vanquished by it; these are vehemently agitated and borne along [in a disorderly manner,] when the irascible motions and the desires of the pneumatic substance, received an impetus. These souls, therefore, are indeed daemons, but are deservedly called malefic daemons. SPAN 2.39. 39.All these being, likewise, and those who possess a contrary power, are invisible, and perfectly imperceptible by human senses; for they are not surrounded with a solid body, nor are all of them of one form, but they are fashioned in numerous figures. The forms, however, which |68 characterize their pneumatic substance, at one time become apparent, but at another are invisible. Sometimes also those that are malefic, change their forms; but the pneumatic substance, so far as it is corporeal, is passive and corruptible: and though, because it is thus bound by the souls [that are incumbent on it,] the form of it remains for a long time, yet it is not eternal. For it is probable that something continually flows from it, and also that it is nourished. The pneumatic substance, therefore, of good daemons, possesses symmetry, in the same manner as the bodies of the visible Gods; but the spirit of malefic dsemons is deprived of symmetry, and in consequence of its abounding in passivity, they are distributed about the terrestrial region. Hence, there is no evil which they do not attempt to effect; for, in short, being violent and fraudulent in their manners, and being also deprived of the guardian care of more excellent dsemons, they make, for the most part, vehement and sudden attacks; sometimes endeavouring to conceal their incursions, but at other times assaulting openly. Hence the molestations which are produced by them are rapid; but the remedies and corrections which proceed from more excellent dsemons, appear to be more slowly effected: for every thing which is good being tractable and equable, proceeds in an orderly manner, and does not pass beyond what is fit. By forming this opinion, therefore, you will never fall into that most absurd notion, that evil may be expected from the good, or good from the evil. For this notion is not truly attended with absurdity, but the multitude, receiving through it the most erroneous conceptions of the Gods, disseminate them among the rest of mankind. SPAN 2.40. 40.It must be admitted, therefore, that one of the greatest injuries occasioned by malefic dsemons is this, that though they are the causes of the calamities which take place upon the earth, such as pestilence, sterility, earthquakes, excessive dryness, and the like, yet they endeavour to persuade us, that they are the causes of things the most contrary to these, viz. of fertility, [salubrity, and elementary peace.] Hence, they exonerate themselves from blame, and, in the first place, endeavour to avoid being detected as the sources of injury; and, in the next place, they convert us to supplications and sacrifices to the beneficent Gods, as if they were angry. But they effect these, and things of a similar nature, in consequence of wishing to turn us from right conceptions of the Gods, and convert us to themselves; for they are delighted with all such as act thus incongruously and discordantly, and, as it were, assuming the persons of other Gods, they enjoy the effects of our imprudence and folly; conciliating to themselves the good opinion of the vulgar, by inflaming the minds of men with the love of riches, power, and pleasure, |69 and fulling them with the desire of vain glory, from which sedition, and war, and other things allied to these, are produced. But that which is the most dire of all things, they proceed still farther, and persuade men that similar things are effected by the greatest Gods, and do not stop till they even subject the most excellent of the divinities to these calumnies, through whom they say every thing is in perfect confusion. And not only the vulgar are affected in this manner, but not a few also of those who are conversant with philosophy. The cause of this, however, extends equally to philosophers, and the vulgar; for of philosophers, those who do not depart from the prevailing notions, fall into the same error with the multitude; and again, the multitude, on hearing assertions from celebrated men conformable to their own opinions, are in a greater degree corroborated in conceiving things of this kind of the Gods. SPAN 2.41. 41.For poetry also inflames the opinions of men, by employing a diction adapted to produce astonishment and enchantment, and not only allures the ears, but is also capable of procuring belief in things that are most impossible. At the same time, however, it is requisite to be firmly persuaded, that what is good can never injure, or what is evil can never be beneficial; for, as Plato says, it is not the province of heat to refrigerate, but of that which is contrary to heat; and, in like manner, neither is it the province of that which is just to injure. But divinity is naturally the most just of all things; since otherwise he would not be divinity. Hence this power and portion of good is not to be abscinded from beneficent daemons; for the power which is naturally adapted, and wishes to injure, is contrary to the power which is beneficent: but contraries can never subsist about the same thing. As malefic daemons, therefore, injure the mortal race in many respects, and sometimes in things of the greatest consequence, good daemons not only never cease to act conformably to their office, but also, as much as possible, presignify to us the dangers which are impendent from malefic daemons, unfolding these through dreams, through a divinely inspired soul, and through many other things; so that he who is capable of explaining what is signified, may know and avoid all the perils with which he is threatened. For they indicate [future events] to all men, but every one cannot understand what they indicate nor is every one able to read what is written by them; but he alone is able to do this, who has learnt their letters. All enchantment, however, [or witchcraft,] is effected through daemons of a contrary nature; for those who perpetrate evil through enchantments, especially venerate these malefic beings, and the power that presides over them. |70 SPAN 2.42. 42.For they are full of every kind of imagination, and are sufficiently qualified to deceive, through effects of a prodigious nature; and through these, unhappy men procure philtres, and amatory allurements. For all intemperance, and hope of possessing wealth and renown, and especially deception, exist through these, since falsehood is allied to these malevolent beings; for they wish to he considered as Gods, and the power which presides over them is ambitious to appear to be the greatest God. These are they that rejoice in libations, and the savour of sacrifices, through which their pneumatic vehicle is fattened; for this vehicle lives through vapours and exhalations, and the life of it is various through various exhalations. It is likewise corroborated by the savour of blood and flesh. SPAN 2.43. 43.On this account, a wise and temperate man will be religiously afraid to use sacrifices of this kind, through which he will attract to himself such-like daemons; but he will endeavour in all possible ways to purify his soul. For these malefic beings do not attack a pure soul, because it is dissimilar to them; but if it is necessary to cities to render them propitious, this is nothing to us. For by these riches, and things external and corporeal, are thought to be good, and their contraries evil; but the smallest attention is paid by them to the good of the soul. We however, to the utmost of our ability, endeavour not to be in want of those things which they impart; but all our endeavour is to become similar to God, and to the [divine] powers with which he is surrounded both from what pertains to the soul, and from externals; and this is effected through an entire liberation from the dominion of the passions, an evolved perception of truly existing beings, and a vital tendency towards them. On the other hand, we strive to become dissimilar to depraved men and evil daemons, and, in short, to every being that rejoices in a mortal and material nature. So that, conformably to what is said by Theophrastus, we also shall sacrifice from those things which theologists permit us to use for this purpose; as well knowing, that by how much the more we neglect to exempt ourselves from the passions of the soul, by so much the more we connect ourselves with a depraved power, and render it necessary that he should become propitious to us. For, as theologists say, it is necessary for those who are bound 18 to things |71 external, and have not yet vanquished their passions, should avert the anger of this [malefic] power; since, if they do not, there will be no end to their labours. SPAN 2.44. 44.Thus far what pertains to sacrifices has been elucidated. As we said, however, at first, as it is not entirely necessary, if animals are to be sacrificed, that they are also to be eaten, we shall now show that it is necessary we should not eat them, though it may be sometimes necessary that they should be sacrificed. For all theologists agree in this that in sacrifices, which are made for the purpose of averting some evil, the immolated animals are not to be tasted, but are to be used as expiations. For, say they, no one should go into the city, nor into his own house, till he has first purified his garments, and his body, in rivers, or some fountain. So that they order those whom they permit to sacrifice, to abstain from the victims, and to purify themselves before they sacrifice by fasting, and especially by abstaining from animals. They add, that purity is the guardian of piety; and is, as it were, a symbol or divine seal, which secures its possessor from the attacks and allurements of evil daemons. For such a one, being contrarily disposed to, and more divine in his operations than those by whom he is attacked, because he is more pure both in his body and in the passions of his soul, remains uninjured, in consequence of being surrounded with purity as with a bulwark. SPAN 2.45. 45.Hence a defence of this kind has appeared to be necessary even to enchanters; though it is not efficacious with them on all occasions. For they invoke evil daemons for lascivious purposes. So that purity does not belong to enchanters, but to divine men, and such as are divinely wise; since it everywhere becomes a guard to those that use it, and conciliates them with a divine nature. I wish, therefore, that enchanters would make use of purity continually, for then they would not employ themselves in incantations, because, through this, they would be: deprived of the enjoyment of those things, for the sake of which they act impiously. Whence becoming full of passions, and abstaining for a short time from impure food, they are notwithstanding replete with impurity, and suffer the punishment of their illegal conduct towards the whole of things, partly from those whom they irritate, and partly from Justice, who perceives all mortal deeds and conceptions. Both inward, |72 therefore, and external purity pertain to a divine man, who earnestly endeavours to be liberated from the passions of the soul, and who abstains from such food as excites the passions, and is fed with divine wisdom; and by right conceptions of, is assimilated to divinity himself. For such a man being consecrated by an intellectual sacrifice, approaches to God in a white garment, and with a truly pure impassivity of soul, and levity of body, and is not burdened with foreign and external juices, and the passions of the soul. SPAN 2.46. 46.For, indeed, it must not be admitted as necessary in temples, which are consecrated by men to the Gods, that those who enter into them should have their feet pure, and their shoes free from every stain, but that in the temple of the father [of all], which is this world, it is not proper to preserve our ultimate and cutaneous vestment pure, and to dwell in this temple with an undefiled garment. For if the danger consisted only in the defilement of the body, it might, perhaps, be lawful to neglect it. But now, since every sensible body is attended with an efflux of material daemons, hence, together with the impurity produced from flesh and blood, the power which is friendly to, and familiar with, this impurity, is at the same time present through similitude and alliance. SPAN 2.47. 47.Hence theologists have rightly paid attention to abstinence. And these things were indicated to us by a certain Egyptian 19, who also assigned a most natural cause of them, which was verified by experience. For, since a depraved and irrational soul, when it leaves the body, is still compelled to adhere to it, since the souls also of those men who die by violence, are detained about the body; this circumstance should prevent a man from forcibly expelling his soul from the body. The violent slaughter, therefore, of animals, compels souls to be delighted with the bodies which they have left, but the soul is by no means prevented from being there, where it is attracted by a kindred nature; whence many souls are seen to lament, and some remain about the bodies that are |73 unburied; which souls are improperly used by enchanters, as subservient to their designs, being compelled by them to occupy the body, or a part of the body, which they have left. Since, therefore, these things were well known to theologists, and they also perceived the nature of a depraved soul, and its alliance to the bodies from which it was divulsed, and the pleasure which it received from a union with them, they very properly avoided animal food, in order that they might not be disturbed by alien souls, violently separated from the body and impure, and which are attracted to things of a kindred nature, and likewise that they might not be impeded by the presence of evil daemons, in approaching alone [or without being burdened with things of a foreign nature] to the highest God 20. SPAN 2.49. 49.Very properly, therefore, will the philosopher, and who is also the priest of the God that is above all things, abstain from all animal food, in consequence of earnestly endeavouring to approach through himself alone to the alone God 21, without being disturbed by any attendants. Such a one likewise is cautious, as being well acquainted with the necessities of nature. For he who is truly a philosopher, is skilled in, and an observer of many things, understands the works of nature, is sagacious, temperate and modest, and is in every respect the saviour of |74 himself. And as he who is the priest of a certain particular God, is skilled in placing the statues of that divinity, and in his orgies, mysteries and the like, thus also he who is the priest of the highest God, is skilled in the manner in which his statue ought to be fashioned, and in purifications, and other things, through which he is conjoined to this divinity. SPAN 2.51. 51.For some one may say that we shall subvert a great part of divination, viz. that which is effected through an inspection of the viscera, if we abstain from destroying animals. He, therefore, who makes this objection, should also destroy men: for it is said that future events are more apparent in the viscera of men than in those of brutes; and many of the Barbarians exercise the art of divination through the entrails of men. As, however, it would be an indication of great injustice, and inexhaustible avidity, to destroy those of our own species for the sake of divination, thus also it is unjust for the sake of this to slay an irrational animal. But it does not belong to the present discussion to investigate whether God, or daemons, or soul liberated from the animal [with which it had been connected], exhibit signs of future events to those who explore such signs, through the indications which the viscera afford. SPAN 2.52. 52.Nevertheless, we permit those whose life is rolled about externals, having once acted impiously towards themselves, to be borne along to that which they tend; but we rightly say, that the man who we designate as a philosopher, and who is separated from externals, will not |75 be disturbed by daemons, nor be in want of diviners, nor of the viscera of animals. For he earnestly endeavours to be separated from those things for the sake of which divinations are effected. For he does not betake himself to nuptials, in order that he may molest the diviner about wedlock, or merchandise, or inquiries about a servant, or an increase of property, or any other object of vulgar pursuit. For the subjects of his investigation are not clearly indicated by any diviner or viscera of animals. But he, as we have said, approaching through himself to the [supreme] God, who is established in the true inward parts of himself, receives from thence the precepts of eternal life, tending thither by a conflux of the whole of himself, and instead of a diviner praying that he may become a confabulator of the mighty Jupiter. SPAN 2.53. 53.For if such a one is impelled by some necessary circumstance, there are good daemons, who, to the man living after this manner, and who is a domestic of divinity, will indicate and prevent, through dreams and symbols, and omens, what may come to pass, and what is necessarily to be avoided. For it is only requisite to depart from evil, and to know what is most honourable in the whole of things, and every thing which in the universe is good, friendly, and familiar. But vice, and an ignorance of divine concerns, are dire, through which a man is led to despise and defame things of which he has no knowledge; since nature does not proclaim these particulars with a voice which can be heard by the ears, but being herself intellectual 22, she initiates through intellect those who venerate her. And even though some one should admit the art of divination for the sake of predicting what is future, yet it does not from thence necessarily follow that the flesh of animals is to be eaten; as neither does it follow, that because it is proper to sacrifice to Gods or daemons, food from animals is therefore to be introduced. For, not only the history which is related by Theophrastus, but also many other narrations inform us, that in ancient times men were sacrificed, yet it must not be inferred that on this account men are to be eaten. |76 SPAN 2.54. 54.And that we do not carelessly assert these things, but that what we have said is abundantly confirmed by history, the following narrations sufficiently testify. For in Rhodes, on the sixth day of June, a man was sacrificed to Saturn; which custom having prevailed for a long time, was afterwards changed [into a more human mode of sacrificing]. For one of those men who, by the public decision, had been sentenced to death, was kept in prison till the Saturnalia commenced; but as soon as this festival began, they brought the man out of the gates of the city, opposite to the temple of Aristobulus, and giving him wine to drink, they cut his throat. But in the island which is now called Salamis, but was formerly denominated Coronis, in the month according to the Cyprians Aphrodisius, a man was sacrificed to Agraule, the daughter of Cecrops, and the nymph Agraulis. And this custom continued till the time of Diomed. Afterwards it was changed, so that a man was sacrificed to Diomed. But the temples of Minerva, of Agraule, and Diomed, were contained in one and the same enclosure. The man who was also about to be slain, was first led by young men thrice round the altar, afterwards the priest pierced him with a lance in the stomach, and thus being thrown on the pyre, he was entirely consumed. SPAN 2.56. 56.Moreover the Phoenicians, in great calamities, either of war, or excessive dryness, or pestilence, sacrificed some one of their dearest friends, who was selected by votes for this purpose. The Phoenician history also is replete with instances of men being sacrificed, which history was written by Sanchoniatho in the Phoenician tongue, and was interpreted into Greek in eight books, by Philo Byblius. But Ister, in his collection of the Cretan sacrifices, says that the Curetes formerly sacrificed children to Saturn. And Pallas, who is the best of those who have collected what pertains to the mysteries of Mithras, says, that under the Emperor Adrian the sacrificing of men was nearly totally abolished. For, prior to his time, in Laodicea, which is in Syria, they anciently sacrificed a virgin to Minerva, but now they sacrifice a stag. The Carthaginians too, who dwell in Libya, formerly sacrificed men; but this custom was abolished by Iphicrates. And the Dumatii, a people of Arabia, annually sacrificed a boy, whom they buried under the altar, which was used by them as a statue. But Phylarchus narrates, that it was the general custom of all the Greeks, before they went to war, to immolate men. I omit to mention the Thracians and Scythians, and also the Athenians, who slew the daughter of Erechtheus and Praxithea. And even at present, who is ignorant that in the great city of Rome, in the festival of Jupiter Latialis, they cut the throat of a man? Human flesh, however, is not on this account to be eaten; though, through a certain necessity, a man should be sacrificed. For, when a famine takes place during a siege some of the besieged feed on each other, yet at the same time those who do so are deemed execrable and the deed is thought to be impious. SPAN 4.20. 20.For holy men were of opinion that purity consisted in a thing not being mingled with its contrary, and that mixture is defilement. Hence, they thought that nutriment should be assumed from fruits, and not from dead bodies, and that we should not, by introducing that which is animated to our nature, defile what is administered by nature. But they conceived, that the slaughter of animals, as they are sensitive, and the depriving them of their souls, is a defilement to the living; and that the pollution is much greater, to mingle a body which was once sensitive, but is now deprived of sense, with a sensitive and living being. Hence, universally, the purity pertaining to piety consists in rejecting and abstaining from many things, and in an abandonment of such as are of a contrary nature, and the assumption of such as are appropriate and concordant. On this account, venereal connexions are attended with defilement. For in these, a conjunction takes place of the female with the male; and the seed, when retained by the woman, and causing her to be pregt, defiles the soul, through its association with the body; but when it does not produce conception, it pollutes, in consequence of becoming a lifeless mass. The connexion also of males with males defiles, because it is an emission of seed as it were into a dead body, and because it is contrary to nature. And, in short, all venery, and emissions of the seed in sleep, pollute, because the soul becomes mingled with the body, and is drawn down to pleasure. The passions of the soul likewise defile, through the complication of the irrational and effeminate part with reason, the internal masculine part. For, in a certain respect, defilement and pollution manifest the mixture of things of an heterogeneous nature, and especially when the abstersion of this mixture is attended with difficulty. Whence, also, in tinctures which are produced through mixture, one species being complicated with another, this mixture is denominated a defilement. As when some woman with a lively red Stains the pure iv'ry --- says Homer 22. And again painters call the mixtures of colours, |134 corruptions. It is usual, likewise to denominate that which is unmingled and pure, incorruptible, and to call that which is genuine, unpolluted. For water, when mingled with earth, is corrupted, and is not genuine. But water, which is diffluent, and runs with tumultuous rapidity, leaves behind in its course the earth which it carries in its stream. When from a limpid and perennial fount It defluous runs --- as Hesiod says 23. For such water is salubrious, because it is uncorrupted and unmixed. The female, likewise, that does not receive into herself the exhalation of seed, is said to be uncorrupted. So that the mixture of contraries is corruption and defilement. For the mixture of dead with living bodies, and the insertion of beings that were once living and sentient into animals, and of dead into living flesh, may be reasonably supposed to introduce defilement and stains to our nature; just, again, as the soul is polluted when it is invested with the body. Hence, he who is born, is polluted by the mixture of his soul with body; and he who dies, defiles his body, through leaving it a corpse, different and foreign from that which possesses life. The soul, likewise, is polluted by anger and desire, and the multitude of passions of which in a certain respect diet is a co-operating cause. But as water which flows through a rock is more uncorrupted than that which runs through marshes, because it does not bring with it much mud; thus, also, the soul which administers its own affairs in a body that is dry, and is not moistened by the juices of foreign flesh, is in a more excellent condition, is more uncorrupted, and is more prompt for intellectual energy. Thus too, it is said, that the thyme which is the driest and the sharpest to the taste, affords the best honey to bees. The dianoetic, therefore, or discursive power of the soul, is polluted; or rather, he who energizes dianoetically, when this energy is mingled with the energies of either the imaginative or doxastic power. But purification consists in a separation from all these, and the wisdom which is adapted to divine concerns, is a desertion of every thing of this kind. The proper nutriment likewise, of each thing, is that which essentially preserves it. Thus you may say, that the nutriment of a stone is the cause of its continuing to be a stone, and of firmly remaining in a lapideous form; but the nutriment of a plant is that which preserves it in increase and fructification; and of an animated body, that which preserves its composition. It is one thing, however, |135 to nourish, and another to fatten; and one thing to impart what is necessary, and another to procure what is luxurious. Various, therefore, are the kinds of nutriment, and various also is the nature of the things that are nourished. And it is necessary, indeed, that all things should be nourished, but we should earnestly endeavour to fatten our most principal parts. Hence, the nutriment of the rational soul is that which preserves it in a rational state. But this is intellect; so that it is to be nourished by intellect; and we should earnestly endeavour that it may be fattened through this, rather than that the flesh may become pinguid through esculent substances. For intellect preserves for us eternal life, but the body when fattened causes the soul to be famished, through its hunger after a blessed life not being satisfied, increases our mortal part, since it is of itself insane, and impedes our attainment of an immortal condition of being. It likewise defiles by corporifying the soul, and drawing her down to that which is foreign to her nature. And the magnet, indeed, imparts, as it were, a soul to the iron which is placed near it; and the iron, though most heavy, is elevated, and runs to the spirit of the stone. Should he, therefore, who is suspended from incorporeal and intellectual deity, be anxiously busied in procuring food which fattens the body, that is an impediment to intellectual perception? Ought he not rather, by contracting hat is necessary to the flesh into that which is little and easily procured, he himself nourished, by adhering to God more closely than the iron to the magnet? I wish, indeed, that our nature was not so corruptible, and that it were possible we could live free from molestation, even without the nutriment derived from fruits. O that, as Homer 24 says, we were not in want either of meat or drink, that we might be truly immortal! --- the poet in thus speaking beautifully signifying, that food is the auxiliary not only of life, but also of death. If therefore, we were not in want even of vegetable aliment, we should be by so much the more blessed, in proportion as we should be more immortal. But now, being in a mortal condition, we render ourselves, if it be proper so to speak, still more mortal, through becoming ignorant that, by the addition of this mortality, the soul, as Theophrastus says, does not only confer a great benefit on the body by being its inhabitant, but gives herself wholly to it. 25 Hence, it is much |136 to be wished that we could easily obtain the life celebrated in fables, in which hunger and thirst are unknown; so that, by stopping the everyway-flowing river of the body, we might in a very little time be present with the most excellent natures, to which he who accedes, since deity is there, is himself a God. But how is it possible not to lament the condition of the generality of mankind, who are so involved in darkness as to cherish their own evil, and who, in the first place, hate themselves, and him who truly begot them, and afterwards, those who admonish them, and call on them to return from ebriety to a sober condition of being? Hence, dismissing things of this kind, will it not be requisite to pass on to what remains to be discussed? SPAN
16. Porphyry, Aids To The Study of The Intelligibles, 29 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

17. Porphyry, Life of Plotinus, 10.14-10.15 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

18. Augustine, The City of God, 7.6, 8.14, 8.16 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

7.6. The same Varro, then, still speaking by anticipation, says that he thinks that God is the soul of the world (which the Greeks call κόσμος), and that this world itself is God; but as a wise man, though he consists of body and mind, is nevertheless called wise on account of his mind, so the world is called God on account of mind, although it consists of mind and body. Here he seems, in some fashion at least, to acknowledge one God; but that he may introduce more, he adds that the world is divided into two parts, heaven and earth, which are again divided each into two parts, heaven into ether and air, earth into water and land, of all which the ether is the highest, the air second, the water third, and the earth the lowest. All these four parts, he says, are full of souls; those which are in the ether and air being immortal, and those which are in the water and on the earth mortal. From the highest part of the heavens to the orbit of the moon there are souls, namely, the stars and planets; and these are not only understood to be gods, but are seen to be such. And between the orbit of the moon and the commencement of the region of clouds and winds there are aerial souls; but these are seen with the mind, not with the eyes, and are called Heroes, and Lares, and Genii. This is the natural theology which is briefly set forth in these anticipatory statements, and which satisfied not Varro only, but many philosophers besides. This I must discuss more carefully, when, with the help of God, I shall have completed what I have yet to say concerning the civil theology, as far as it concerns the select gods. 8.14. There is, say they, a threefold division of all animals endowed with a rational soul, namely, into gods, men, and demons. The gods occupy the loftiest region, men the lowest, the demons the middle region. For the abode of the gods is heaven, that of men the earth, that of the demons the air. As the dignity of their regions is diverse, so also is that of their natures; therefore the gods are better than men and demons. Men have been placed below the gods and demons, both in respect of the order of the regions they inhabit, and the difference of their merits. The demons, therefore, who hold the middle place, as they are inferior to the gods, than whom they inhabit a lower region, so they are superior to men, than whom they inhabit a loftier one. For they have immortality of body in common with the gods, but passions of the mind in common with men. On which account, say they, it is not wonderful that they are delighted with the obscenities of the theatre, and the fictions of the poets, since they are also subject to human passions, from which the gods are far removed, and to which they are altogether strangers. Whence we conclude that it was not the gods, who are all good and highly exalted, that Plato deprived of the pleasure of theatric plays, by reprobating and prohibiting the fictions of the poets, but the demons. of these things many have written: among others Apuleius, the Platonist of Madaura, who composed a whole work on the subject, entitled, Concerning the God of Socrates. He there discusses and explains of what kind that deity was who attended on Socrates, a sort of familiar, by whom it is said he was admonished to desist from any action which would not turn out to his advantage. He asserts most distinctly, and proves at great length, that it was not a god but a demon; and he discusses with great diligence the opinion of Plato concerning the lofty estate of the gods, the lowly estate of men, and the middle estate of demons. These things being so, how did Plato dare to take away, if not from the gods, whom he removed from all human contagion, certainly from the demons, all the pleasures of the theatre, by expelling the poets from the state? Evidently in this way he wished to admonish the human soul, although still confined in these moribund members, to despise the shameful commands of the demons, and to detest their impurity, and to choose rather the splendor of virtue. But if Plato showed himself virtuous in answering and prohibiting these things, then certainly it was shameful of the demons to command them. Therefore either Apuleius is wrong, and Socrates' familiar did not belong to this class of deities, or Plato held contradictory opinions, now honoring the demons, now removing from the well-regulated state the things in which they delighted, or Socrates is not to be congratulated on the friendship of the demon, of which Apuleius was so ashamed that he entitled his book On the God of Socrates, while according to the tenor of his discussion, wherein he so diligently and at such length distinguishes gods from demons, he ought not to have entitled it, Concerning the God, but Concerning the Demon of Socrates. But he preferred to put this into the discussion itself rather than into the title of his book. For, through the sound doctrine which has illuminated human society, all, or almost all men have such a horror at the name of demons, that every one who before reading the dissertation of Apuleius, which sets forth the dignity of demons, should have read the title of the book, On the Demon of Socrates, would certainly have thought that the author was not a sane man. But what did even Apuleius find to praise in the demons, except subtlety and strength of body and a higher place of habitation? For when he spoke generally concerning their manners, he said nothing that was good, but very much that was bad. Finally, no one, when he has read that book, wonders that they desired to have even the obscenity of the stage among divine things, or that, wishing to be thought gods, they should be delighted with the crimes of the gods, or that all those sacred solemnities, whose obscenity occasions laughter, and whose shameful cruelty causes horror, should be in agreement with their passions. 8.16. The same Apuleius, when speaking concerning the manners of demons, said that they are agitated with the same perturbations of mind as men; that they are provoked by injuries, propitiated by services and by gifts, rejoice in honors, are delighted with a variety of sacred rites, and are annoyed if any of them be neglected. Among other things, he also says that on them depend the divinations of augurs, soothsayers, and prophets, and the revelations of dreams, and that from them also are the miracles of the magicians. But, when giving a brief definition of them, he says, Demons are of an animal nature, passive in soul, rational in mind, aerial in body, eternal in time. of which five things, the three first are common to them and us, the fourth peculiar to themselves, and the fifth common to therewith the gods. But I see that they have in common with the gods two of the first things, which they have in common with us. For he says that the gods also are animals; and when he is assigning to every order of beings its own element, he places us among the other terrestrial animals which live and feel upon the earth. Wherefore, if the demons are animals as to genus, this is common to them, not only with men, but also with the gods and with beasts; if they are rational as to their mind, this is common to them with the gods and with men; if they are eternal in time, this is common to them with the gods only; if they are passive as to their soul, this is common to them with men only; if they are aerial in body, in this they are alone. Therefore it is no great thing for them to be of an animal nature, for so also are the beasts; in being rational as to mind, they are not above ourselves, for so are we also; and as to their being eternal as to time, what is the advantage of that if they are not blessed? For better is temporal happiness than eternal misery. Again, as to their being passive in soul, how are they in this respect above us, since we also are so, but would not have been so had we not been miserable? Also, as to their being aerial in body, how much value is to be set on that, since a soul of any kind whatsoever is to be set above every body? And therefore religious worship, which ought to be rendered from the soul, is by no means due to that thing which is inferior to the soul. Moreover, if he had, among those things which he says belong to demons, enumerated virtue, wisdom, happiness, and affirmed that they have those things in common with the gods, and, like them, eternally, he would assuredly have attributed to them something greatly to be desired, and much to be prized. And even in that case it would not have been our duty to worship them like God on account of these things, but rather to worship Him from whom we know they had received them. But how much less are they really worthy of divine honor - those aerial animals who are only rational that they may be capable of misery, passive that they may be actually miserable, and eternal that it may be impossible for them to end their misery!
19. Aeschines, Or., 3.137



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alimentary Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
angel DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98
angels Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
apuleius DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98, 215; Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35; Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 95
asceticism Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
augustine Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
being and becoming Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
body, celestial Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
body, relation to soul Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
body Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
body and soul Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
cakes (offerings) Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
cannibalism Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
chaldaean theology, doctrine of demons Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 171
chaldaean theology, influence upon arnobius Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 171
cilento, v. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
contemplation Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
daimons, rituals to thwart Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
daimons Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35; Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
demon / daimon DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98, 215
demons, bodies of air Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 95
demons, in the philosophical tradition Wiebe, Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine (2021) 95
demons Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35; Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
derveni author Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
desire (epithumia) Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
erinyes Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
eumenides Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
eusebius of caesarea DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98
exorcism Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
expiation Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
gnostic, gnosticism Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
god Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
gods DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98, 215
hippocratic authors Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
holy man Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
iamblichus DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98, 215; Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 171
initiates Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
intellect, triad Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
intelligible, realm Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
iranian priests Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
kalligas, p. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
lewy, h. Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 171
libations Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
life, noetic Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
magic Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
magic / magia DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 98
meat Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
murder Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
nature Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
olympius of alexandria Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
passions Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
passions / passiones DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 215
philosophy Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
plato Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
platonic tradition Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
platonist / platonism DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 215
plotinus Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447; Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
plutarch Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
porphyry, and arnobius polemics' Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 171
porphyry Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447; Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
porphyry of tyre Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
prayer Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
preparatory purification Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
professionals, of the sacred Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
punishments Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
pépin, j. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
rites, rituals Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
sacrifices Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
sage Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
servants of the gods (minor deities) Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
sexual relations abstinence from Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
sexual relations in roman philosophy Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
soul, divisions of Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
soul, individual Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
soul, irrational, vegetative Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
soul, of the world Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
soul, relation to intellect Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
soul Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
souls Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
space, sacred Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
stars DeMarco,, Augustine and Porphyry: A Commentary on De ciuitate Dei 10 (2021) 215
sympathy Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
theology Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 447
underworld Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35
vegetarianism Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
virtues, purificatory Blidstein, Purity Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (2017) 35
whittaker, t. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 287
worship Janowitz, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (2002) 35
μάγοι Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 35