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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Apuleius, Florida, 6

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

3 results
1. Juvenal, Satires, 14.100-14.104 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.70 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Tacitus, Histories, 5.2-5.5 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.2.  However, as I am about to describe the last days of a famous city, it seems proper for me to give some account of its origin. It is said that the Jews were originally exiles from the island of Crete who settled in the farthest parts of Libya at the time when Saturn had been deposed and expelled by Jove. An argument in favour of this is derived from the name: there is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida, and hence the inhabitants were called the Idaei, which was later lengthened into the barbarous form Iudaei. Some hold that in the reign of Isis the superfluous population of Egypt, under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Iuda, discharged itself on the neighbouring lands; many others think that they were an Egyptian stock, which in the reign of Cepheus was forced to migrate by fear and hatred. Still others report that they were Assyrian refugees, a landless people, who first got control of a part of Egypt, then later they had their own cities and lived in the Hebrew territory and the nearer parts of Syria. Still others say that the Jews are of illustrious origin, being the Solymi, a people celebrated in Homer's poems, who founded a city and gave it the name Hierosolyma, formed from their own. 5.3.  Most authors agree that once during a plague in Egypt which caused bodily disfigurement, King Bocchoris approached the oracle of Ammon and asked for a remedy, whereupon he was told to purge his kingdom and to transport this race into other lands, since it was hateful to the gods. So the Hebrews were searched out and gathered together; then, being abandoned in the desert, while all others lay idle and weeping, one only of the exiles, Moses by name, warned them not to hope for help from gods or men, for they were deserted by both, but to trust to themselves, regarding as a guide sent from heaven the one whose assistance should first give them escape from their present distress. They agreed, and then set out on their journey in utter ignorance, but trusting to chance. Nothing caused them so much distress as scarcity of water, and in fact they had already fallen exhausted over the plain nigh unto death, when a herd of wild asses moved from their pasturage to a rock that was shaded by a grove of trees. Moses followed them, and, conjecturing the truth from the grassy ground, discovered abundant streams of water. This relieved them, and they then marched six days continuously, and on the seventh seized a country, expelling the former inhabitants; there they founded a city and dedicated a temple. 5.4.  To establish his influence over this people for all time, Moses introduced new religious practices, quite opposed to those of all other religions. The Jews regard as profane all that we hold sacred; on the other hand, they permit all that we abhor. They dedicated, in a shrine, a statue of that creature whose guidance enabled them to put an end to their wandering and thirst, sacrificing a ram, apparently in derision of Ammon. They likewise offer the ox, because the Egyptians worship Apis. They abstain from pork, in recollection of a plague, for the scab to which this animal is subject once afflicted them. By frequent fasts even now they bear witness to the long hunger with which they were once distressed, and the unleavened Jewish bread is still employed in memory of the haste with which they seized the grain. They say that they first chose to rest on the seventh day because that day ended their toils; but after a time they were led by the charms of indolence to give over the seventh year as well to inactivity. Others say that this is done in honour of Saturn, whether it be that the primitive elements of their religion were given by the Idaeans, who, according to tradition, were expelled with Saturn and became the founders of the Jewish race, or is due to the fact that, of the seven planets that rule the fortunes of mankind, Saturn moves in the highest orbit and has the greatest potency; and that many of the heavenly bodies traverse their paths and courses in multiples of seven. 5.5.  Whatever their origin, these rites are maintained by their antiquity: the other customs of the Jews are base and abominable, and owe their persistence to their depravity. For the worst rascals among other peoples, renouncing their ancestral religions, always kept sending tribute and contributions to Jerusalem, thereby increasing the wealth of the Jews; again, the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity. They sit apart at meals, and they sleep apart, and although as a race, they are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; yet among themselves nothing is unlawful. They adopted circumcision to distinguish themselves from other peoples by this difference. Those who are converted to their ways follow the same practice, and the earliest lesson they receive is to despise the gods, to disown their country, and to regard their parents, children, and brothers as of little account. However, they take thought to increase their numbers; for they regard it as a crime to kill any late-born child, and they believe that the souls of those who are killed in battle or by the executioner are immortal: hence comes their passion for begetting children, and their scorn of death. They bury the body rather than burn it, thus following the Egyptians' custom; they likewise bestow the same care on the dead, and hold the same belief about the world below; but their ideas of heavenly things are quite the opposite. The Egyptians worship many animals and monstrous images; the Jews conceive of one god only, and that with the mind alone: they regard as impious those who make from perishable materials representations of gods in man's image; that supreme and eternal being is to them incapable of representation and without end. Therefore they set up no statues in their cities, still less in their temples; this flattery is not paid their kings, nor this honour given to the Caesars. But since their priests used to chant to the accompaniment of pipes and cymbals and to wear garlands of ivy, and because a golden vine was found in their temple, some have thought that they were devotees of Father Liber, the conqueror of the East, in spite of the incongruity of their customs. For Liber established festive rites of a joyous nature, while the ways of the Jews are preposterous and mean.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
(on the jews) Witter et al. (2021) 234
abstinence,hard rules of,ten days of Griffiths (1975) 28
advocate,speeches of in forum,in latin Griffiths (1975) 28
africa,and apuleius Griffiths (1975) 28
allegorical approach,egyptian Griffiths (1975) 28
apuleius,and africa Griffiths (1975) 28
apuleius madaurensis,l. Price Finkelberg and Shahar (2021) 184
breeze,of favourable fortune Griffiths (1975) 28
clothes,to be sold to meet costs of second initiation Griffiths (1975) 28
comfort,in sojourn in rome Griffiths (1975) 28
command,of heaven,duty to accept,wardrobe sold through Griffiths (1975) 28
confidence,in service Griffiths (1975) 28
cost,of living,in rome and provinces Griffiths (1975) 28
days,ten,of abstention Griffiths (1975) 28
devil,between,and deep sea Griffiths (1975) 28
diaspora,jewish / diaspora judaism Witter et al. (2021) 234
divine service,carried out by priest,of kindred faith Griffiths (1975) 28
ecstasies,nocturnal,of supreme god Griffiths (1975) 28
egyptians,have the original doctrine on isis and call her queen isis,exalted view of Griffiths (1975) 28
ethnicity / ethnic group / ethnos Witter et al. (2021) 234
exhortation,to sell clothes Griffiths (1975) 28
expenses,personal,met by relatives,of travel and cost of living in rome Griffiths (1975) 28
expenses,personal,met by relatives,wardrobe sold to meet costs of second initiation Griffiths (1975) 28
faith,sublime,hidden attributes of,kindred Griffiths (1975) 28
foods,unhallowed and unlawful,abstention from,meatless food for ten days Griffiths (1975) 28
forum,profit in,through advocates speeches Griffiths (1975) 28
head,shaved Griffiths (1975) 28
illumined,with ecstasies of supreme god Griffiths (1975) 28
initiation,needed,pledged to rites of Griffiths (1975) 28
initiation,needed,wardrobe sold to meet costs of Griffiths (1975) 28
instructions,secret,too holy to be uttered,instruction to sell clothes Griffiths (1975) 28
iudaeus / iudaicus Witter et al. (2021) 234
iunius iuvenalis,d. Price Finkelberg and Shahar (2021) 184
jerusalem Price Finkelberg and Shahar (2021) 184
judaism Witter et al. (2021) 234
judea Witter et al. (2021) 234
latin,advocates speeches in Griffiths (1975) 28
latin literature (on the jews) Witter et al. (2021) 234
livelihood,more generous,in rome Griffiths (1975) 28
means,scarcity of,a hindrance Griffiths (1975) 28
meatless food,for ten days Griffiths (1975) 28
mediterranean Price Finkelberg and Shahar (2021) 184
metamorphosis,theme of Griffiths (1975) 28
mind,pondering,considerable mental stress Griffiths (1975) 28
money,needed for initiation,indicated by isis,adequate little sum scraped together Griffiths (1975) 28
money,needed for initiation,indicated by isis,profit in forum through advocates speeches Griffiths (1975) 28
money,needed for initiation,indicated by isis,scarcity of,a hindrance Griffiths (1975) 28
moses Price Finkelberg and Shahar (2021) 184
night,black clouds of,routed,ecstasies of supreme god Griffiths (1975) 28
nile,statue of,papyri of nile Griffiths (1975) 28
of travel' Griffiths (1975) 28
osiris,supreme god,nocturnal ecstasies of Griffiths (1975) 28
persistence,of deity Griffiths (1975) 28
pleasures,low,personal pleasure contrasted with august rites Griffiths (1975) 28
pledged,to isis,by favour that could not be repaid,to rites of initiation Griffiths (1975) 28
poverty,hard pressure of,not to be regretted Griffiths (1975) 28
poverty,hard pressure of Griffiths (1975) 28
preparations,for rite of initiation,for second initiation Griffiths (1975) 28
profit,in forum through advocates speeches Griffiths (1975) 28
provinces,lower cost of living in Griffiths (1975) 28
religion,ministry of,kindred Griffiths (1975) 28
rites,sacred,pledge to service in,pledged to Griffiths (1975) 28
rites,sacred,pledge to service in,rites,august,of initiation Griffiths (1975) 28
roman speech,used by advocate in forum Griffiths (1975) 28
rome,journey to,cost of living in Griffiths (1975) 28
shaven heads,of male initiates Griffiths (1975) 28
stress,considerable mental Griffiths (1975) 28
ten days,of abstention Griffiths (1975) 28
travel,expenses of Griffiths (1975) 28
vegetarian diet,submitted to Griffiths (1975) 28
wardrobe,sold to meet costs of second initiation Griffiths (1975) 28