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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Ignatius, To The Magnesians, 8

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

5 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 52 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Anon., Epistle of Barnabas, 4, 14 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Juvenal, Satires, 14 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Origen, Against Celsus, 5.34-5.36, 8.29 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5.34. But, that we may not pass without notice what Celsus has said between these and the preceding paragraphs, let us quote his words: We might adduce Herodotus as a witness on this point, for he expresses himself as follows: 'For the people of the cities Marea and Apis, who inhabit those parts of Egypt that are adjacent to Libya, and who look upon themselves as Libyans, and not as Egyptians, finding their sacrificial worship oppressive, and wishing not to be excluded from the use of cows' flesh, sent to the oracle of Jupiter Ammon, saying that there was no relationship between them and the Egyptians, that they dwelt outside the Delta, that there was no community of sentiment between them and the Egyptians, and that they wished to be allowed to partake of all kinds of food. But the god would not allow them to do as they desired, saying that that country was a part of Egypt, which was watered by the inundation of the Nile, and that those were Egyptians who dwell to the south of the city of Elephantine, and drink of the river Nile.' Such is the narrative of Herodotus. But, continues Celsus, Ammon in divine things would not make a worse ambassador than the angels of the Jews, so that there is nothing wrong in each nation observing its established method of worship. of a truth, we shall find very great differences prevailing among the nations, and yet each seems to deem its own by far the best. Those inhabitants of Ethiopia who dwell in Meroe worship Jupiter and Bacchus alone; the Arabians, Urania and Bacchus only; all the Egyptians, Osiris and Isis; the Saïtes, Minerva; while the Naucratites have recently classed Serapis among their deities, and the rest according to their respective laws. And some abstain from the flesh of sheep, and others from that of crocodiles; others, again, from that of cows, while they regard swine's flesh with loathing. The Scythians, indeed, regard it as a noble act to banquet upon human beings. Among the Indians, too, there are some who deem themselves discharging a holy duty in eating their fathers, and this is mentioned in a certain passage by Herodotus. For the sake of credibility, I shall again quote his very words, for he writes as follows: 'For if any one were to make this proposal to all men, viz., to bid him select out of all existing laws the best, each would choose, after examination, those of his own country. Men each consider their own laws much the best, and therefore it is not likely than any other than a madman would make these things a subject of ridicule. But that such are the conclusions of all men regarding the laws, may be determined by many other evidences, and especially by the following illustration. Darius, during his reign, having summoned before him those Greeks who happened to be present at the time, inquired of them for how much they would be willing to eat their deceased fathers? Their answer was, that for no consideration would they do such a thing. After this, Darius summoned those Indians who are called Callatians, who are in the habit of eating their parents, and asked of them in the presence of these Greeks, who learned what passed through an interpreter, for what amount of money they would undertake to burn their deceased fathers with fire? On which they raised a loud shout, and bade the king say no more.' Such is the way, then, in which these matters are regarded. And Pindar appears to me to be right in saying that 'law' is the king of all things. 5.35. The argument of Celsus appears to point by these illustrations to this conclusion: that it is an obligation incumbent on all men to live according to their country's customs, in which case they will escape censure; whereas the Christians, who have abandoned their native usages, and who are not one nation like the Jews, are to be blamed for giving their adherence to the teaching of Jesus. Let him then tell us whether it is a becoming thing for philosophers, and those who have been taught not to yield to superstition, to abandon their country's customs, so as to eat of those articles of food which are prohibited in their respective cities? Or whether this proceeding of theirs is opposed to what is becoming? For if, on account of their philosophy, and the instructions which they have received against superstition, they should eat, in disregard of their native laws, what was interdicted by their fathers, why should the Christians (since the Gospel requires them not to busy themselves about statues and images, or even about any of the created works of God but to ascend on high, and present the soul to the Creator); when acting in a similar manner to the philosophers, be censured for so doing? But if, for the sake of defending the thesis which he has proposed to himself, Celsus, or those who think with him, should say, that even one who had studied philosophy would keep his country's laws, then philosophers in Egypt, for example, would act most ridiculously in avoiding the eating of onions, in order to observe their country's laws, or certain parts of the body, as the head and shoulders, in order not to transgress the traditions of their fathers. And I do not speak of those Egyptians who shudder with fear at the discharge of wind from the body, because if any one of these were to become a philosopher, and still observe the laws of his country, he would be a ridiculous philosopher, acting very unphilosophically. In the same way, then, he who has been led by the Gospel to worship the God of all things, and, from regard to his country's laws, lingers here below among images and statues of men, and does not desire to ascend to the Creator, will resemble those who have indeed learned philosophy, but who are afraid of things which ought to inspire no terrors, and who regard it as an act of impiety to eat of those things which have been enumerated. 5.36. But what sort of being is this Ammon of Herodotus, whose words Celsus has quoted, as if by way of demonstrating how each one ought to keep his country's laws? For this Ammon would not allow the people of the cities of Marea and Apis, who inhabit the districts adjacent to Libya, to treat as a matter of indifference the use of cows' flesh, which is a thing not only indifferent in its own nature, but which does not prevent a man from being noble and virtuous. If Ammon, then, forbade the use of cows' flesh, because of the advantage which results from the use of the animal in the cultivation of the ground, and in addition to this, because it is by the female that the breed is increased, the account would possess more plausibility. But now he simply requires that those who drink of the Nile should observe the laws of the Egyptians regarding cattle. And hereupon Celsus, taking occasion to pass a jest upon the employment of the angels among the Jews as the ambassadors of God, says that Ammon did not make a worse ambassador of divine things than did the angels of the Jews, into the meaning of whose words and manifestations he instituted no investigation; otherwise he would have seen, that it is not for oxen that God is concerned, even where He may appear to legislate for them, or for irrational animals, but that what is written for the sake of men, under the appearance of relating to irrational animals, contains certain truths of nature. Celsus, moreover, says that no wrong is committed by any one who wishes to observe the religious worship sanctioned by the laws of his country; and it follows, according to his view, that the Scythians commit no wrong, when, in conformity with their country's laws, they eat human beings. And those Indians who eat their own fathers are considered, according to Celsus, to do a religious, or at least not a wicked act. He adduces, indeed, a statement of Herodotus which favours the principle that each one ought, from a sense of what is becoming, to obey his country's laws; and he appears to approve of the custom of those Indians called Callatians, who in the time of Darius devoured their parents, since, on Darius inquiring for how great a sum of money they would be willing to lay aside this usage, they raised a loud shout, and bade the king say no more. 8.29. But it is to be observed that the Jews, who claim for themselves a correct understanding of the law of Moses, carefully restrict their food to such things as are accounted clean, and abstain from those that are unclean. They also do not use in their food the blood of an animal nor the flesh of an animal torn by wild beasts, and some other things which it would take too long for us at present to detail. But Jesus, wishing to lead all men by His teaching to the pure worship and service of God, and anxious not to throw any hindrance in the way of many who might be benefited by Christianity, through the imposition of a burdensome code of rules in regard to food, has laid it down, that not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man, but that which comes out of the mouth; for whatsoever enters in at the mouth goes into the belly, and is cast out into the draught. But those things which proceed out of the mouth are evil thoughts when spoken, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Paul also says, Meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. Wherefore, as there is some obscurity about this matter, without some explanation is given, it seemed good to the apostles of Jesus and the elders assembled together at Antioch, and also, as they themselves say, to the Holy Spirit, to write a letter to the Gentile believers, forbidding them to partake of those things from which alone they say it is necessary to abstain, namely, things offered to idols, things strangled, and blood.
5. Anon., Epistle To Diognetus, 4

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham Vinzent (2013) 106
adversus ioudaios writings Neusner Green and Avery-Peck (2022) 95
antithetical Vinzent (2013) 106
apostles Vinzent (2013) 106
appearance Vinzent (2013) 106
birth Vinzent (2013) 106
blood Vinzent (2013) 106
bread Vinzent (2013) 106
circumcision Rosenblum (2016) 142
clement of alexandria Neusner Green and Avery-Peck (2022) 95
covenant Vinzent (2013) 106
creation Vinzent (2013) 106
creator Vinzent (2013) 106
cross Vinzent (2013) 106
cyprian Neusner Green and Avery-Peck (2022) 95
didache Boulluec (2022) 26
encounter Vinzent (2013) 106
first day of the week Vinzent (2013) 106
grace Vinzent (2013) 106
immortality Vinzent (2013) 106
jewish christianity Boulluec (2022) 26
just Vinzent (2013) 106
law,the,letter of Rosenblum (2016) 142
law,the,moral law Rosenblum (2016) 142
law,the,ritual law Rosenblum (2016) 142
law,the,spirit of Rosenblum (2016) 142
law Vinzent (2013) 106
martyr Vinzent (2013) 106
mary Vinzent (2013) 106
papias of hierapolis Vinzent (2013) 106
passion Vinzent (2013) 106
peter Vinzent (2013) 106
polycarp Vinzent (2013) 106
power Vinzent (2013) 106
prayers Vinzent (2013) 106
prefiguration Vinzent (2013) 106
prophets Vinzent (2013) 106
rabbis Vinzent (2013) 106
rome Vinzent (2013) 106
salvation Vinzent (2013) 106
suffering Vinzent (2013) 106
tertullian Neusner Green and Avery-Peck (2022) 95
twelve Vinzent (2013) 106
women' Vinzent (2013) 106
χριστέμπορος Boulluec (2022) 26