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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Plutarch, Lucullus, 23.6

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

11 results
1. Herodotus, Histories, 4.94-4.96 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4.94. Their belief in their immortality is as follows: they believe that they do not die, but that one who perishes goes to the deity Salmoxis, or Gebeleïzis, as some of them call him. ,Once every five years they choose one of their people by lot and send him as a messenger to Salmoxis, with instructions to report their needs; and this is how they send him: three lances are held by designated men; others seize the messenger to Salmoxis by his hands and feet, and swing and toss him up on to the spear-points. ,If he is killed by the toss, they believe that the god regards them with favor; but if he is not killed, they blame the messenger himself, considering him a bad man, and send another messenger in place of him. It is while the man still lives that they give him the message. ,Furthermore, when there is thunder and lightning these same Thracians shoot arrows skyward as a threat to the god, believing in no other god but their own. 4.95. I understand from the Greeks who live beside the Hellespont and Pontus, that this Salmoxis was a man who was once a slave in Samos, his master being Pythagoras son of Mnesarchus; ,then, after being freed and gaining great wealth, he returned to his own country. Now the Thracians were a poor and backward people, but this Salmoxis knew Ionian ways and a more advanced way of life than the Thracian; for he had consorted with Greeks, and moreover with one of the greatest Greek teachers, Pythagoras; ,therefore he made a hall, where he entertained and fed the leaders among his countrymen, and taught them that neither he nor his guests nor any of their descendants would ever die, but that they would go to a place where they would live forever and have all good things. ,While he was doing as I have said and teaching this doctrine, he was meanwhile making an underground chamber. When this was finished, he vanished from the sight of the Thracians, and went down into the underground chamber, where he lived for three years, ,while the Thracians wished him back and mourned him for dead; then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and thus they came to believe what Salmoxis had told them. Such is the Greek story about him. 4.96. Now I neither disbelieve nor entirely believe the tale about Salmoxis and his underground chamber; but I think that he lived many years before Pythagoras; ,and as to whether there was a man called Salmoxis or this is some deity native to the Getae, let the question be dismissed.
2. Lycophron, Alexandra, 800, 799 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, On Divination, 1.51 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.51. At vero P. Decius ille Q. F., qui primus e Deciis consul fuit, cum esset tribunus militum M. Valerio A. Cornelio consulibus a Samnitibusque premeretur noster exercitus, cum pericula proeliorum iniret audacius monereturque, ut cautior esset, dixit, quod extat in annalibus, se sibi in somnis visum esse, cum in mediis hostibus versaretur, occidere cum maxuma gloria. Et tum quidem incolumis exercitum obsidione liberavit; post triennium autem, cum consul esset, devovit se et in aciem Latinorum inrupit armatus. Quo eius facto superati sunt et deleti Latini. Cuius mors ita gloriosa fuit, ut eandem concupisceret filius. 1.51. And yet let me cite another: the famous Publius Decius, son of Quintus, and the first of that family to become consul, was military tribune in the consulship of Marcus Valerius and Aulus Cornelius while our army was being hard pressed by the Samnites. When, because of his rushing too boldly into the dangers of battle, he was advised to be more cautious, he replied, according to the annals, I dreamed that by dying in the midst of the enemy I should win immortal fame. And though he was unharmed at that time and extricated the army from its difficulties, yet three years later, when consul, he devoted himself to death and rushed full-armed against the battle-line of the Latins. By this act of his the Latins were overcome and destroyed; and so glorious was his death that his son sought the same fate.
4. Livy, History, 8.6.11-8.6.12, 8.9.1 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

5. Appian, Civil Wars, 1.97 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Lucian, Parliament of The Gods, 12 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.34.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.34.2. Legend says that when Amphiaraus was exiled from Thebes the earth opened and swallowed both him and his chariot. Only they say that the incident did not happen here, the place called the Chariot being on the road from Thebes to Chalcis . The divinity of Amphiaraus was first established among the Oropians, from whom afterwards all the Greeks received the cult. I can enumerate other men also born at this time who are worshipped among the Greeks as gods; some even have cities dedicated to them, such as Eleus in Chersonnesus dedicated to Protesilaus, and Lebadea of the Boeotians dedicated to Trophonius. The Oropians have both a temple and a white marble statue of Amphiaraus.
8. Origen, Against Celsus, 3.34 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3.34. I am, however, of opinion that these individuals are the only instances with which Celsus was acquainted. And yet, that he might appear voluntarily to pass by other similar cases, he says, And one might name many others of the same kind. Let it be granted, then, that many such persons have existed who conferred no benefit upon the human race: what would each one of their acts be found to amount to in comparison with the work of Jesus, and the miracles related of Him, of which we have already spoken at considerable length? He next imagines that, in worshipping him who, as he says, was taken prisoner and put to death, we are acting like the Get who worship Zamolxis, and the Cilicians who worship Mopsus, and the Acarians who pay divine honours to Amphilochus, and like the Thebans who do the same to Amphiaraus, and the Lebadians to Trophonius. Now in these instances we shall prove that he has compared us to the foregoing without good grounds. For these different tribes erected temples and statues to those individuals above enumerated, whereas we have refrained from offering to the Divinity honour by any such means (seeing they are adapted rather to demons, which are somehow fixed in a certain place which they prefer to any other, or which take up their dwelling, as it were, after being removed (from one place to another) by certain rites and incantations), and are lost in reverential wonder at Jesus, who has recalled our minds from all sensible things, as being not only corruptible, but destined to corruption, and elevated them to honour the God who is over all with prayers and a righteous life, which we offer to Him as being intermediate between the nature of the uncreated and that of all created things, and who bestows upon us the benefits which come from the Father, and who as High Priest conveys our prayers to the supreme God.
9. Strabo, Geography, 3.1.9, 7.3.5, 12.3.11, 16.2.39

3.1.9. Next after [Cadiz ] is the port of Menestheus, and the estuary near to Asta and Nebrissa. These estuaries are valleys filled by the sea during its flood-tides, up which you may sail into the interior, and to the cities built on them, in the same way as you sail up a river. Immediately after are the two outlets of the Baetis. The island embraced by these mouths has a coast of a hundred stadia, or rather more according to others. Hereabouts is the Oracle of Menestheus, and the tower of Caepio, built upon a rock and washed on all sides by the sea. This is an admirable work, resembling the Pharos, and constructed for the safety of vessels. For the mud carried out by the river forms shallows, and sunken rocks are also scattered before it, so that a beacon was greatly needed. Thence sailing up the river is the city of Ebura and the sanctuary of Phosphorus, which they call Lux Dubia. You then pass up the other estuaries; and after these the river Ana, which has also two mouths, up either of which you may sail. Lastly, beyond is the Sacred Promontory, distant from Gadeira less than 2000 stadia. Some say that from the Sacred Promontory to the mouth of the Ana there are 60 miles; thence to the mouth of the Baetis 100; and from this latter place to Gadeira 70. 7.3.5. In fact, it is said that a certain man of the Getae, Zamolxis by name, had been a slave to Pythagoras, and had learned some things about the heavenly bodies from him, as also certain other things from the Egyptians, for in his wanderings he had gone even as far as Egypt; and when he came on back to his home-land he was eagerly courted by the rulers and the people of the tribe, because he could make predictions from the celestial signs; and at last he persuaded the king to take him as a partner in the government, on the ground that he was competent to report the will of the gods; and although at the outset he was only made a priest of the god who was most honored in their country, yet afterwards he was even addressed as god, and having taken possession of a certain cavernous place that was inaccessible to anyone else he spent his life there, only rarely meeting with any people outside except the king and his own attendants; and the king cooperated with him, because he saw that the people paid much more attention to himself than before, in the belief that the decrees which he promulgated were in accordance with the counsel of the gods. This custom persisted even down to our own time, because some man of that character was always to be found, who, though in fact only a counsellor to the king, was called god among the Getae. And the people took up the notion that the mountain was sacred and they so call it, but its name is Cogaeonum, like that of the river which flows past it. So, too, at the time when Byrebistas, against whom already the Deified Caesar had prepared to make an expedition, was reigning over the Getae, the office in question was held by Decaeneus, and somehow or other the Pythagorean doctrine of abstention from eating any living thing still survived as taught by Zamolxis. 12.3.11. Then one comes to Sinope itself, which is fifty stadia distant from Armene; it is the most noteworthy of the cities in that part of the world. This city was founded by the Milesians; and, having built a naval station, it reigned over the sea inside the Cyaneae, and shared with the Greeks in many struggles even outside the Cyaneae; and, although it was independent for a long time, it could not eventually preserve its freedom, but was captured by siege, and was first enslaved by Pharnaces and afterwards by his successors down to Eupator and to the Romans who overthrew Eupator. Eupator was both born and reared at Sinope; and he accorded it especial honor and treated it as the metropolis of his kingdom. Sinope is beautifully equipped both by nature and by human foresight, for it is situated on the neck of a peninsula, and has on either side of the isthmus harbors and roadsteads and wonderful pelamydes-fisheries, of which I have already made mention, saying that the Sinopeans get the second catch and the Byzantians the third. Furthermore, the peninsula is protected all round by ridgy shores, which have hollowed-out places in them, rock-cavities, as it were, which the people call choenicides; these are filled with water when the sea rises, and therefore the place is hard to approach, not only because of this, but also because the whole surface of the rock is prickly and impassable for bare feet. Higher up, however, and above the city, the ground is fertile and adorned with diversified market-gardens; and especially the suburbs of the city. The city itself is beautifully walled, and is also splendidly adorned with gymnasium and marked place and colonnades. But although it was such a city, still it was twice captured, first by Pharnaces, who unexpectedly attacked it all of a sudden, and later by Lucullus and by the tyrant who was garrisoned within it, being besieged both inside and outside at the same time; for, since Bacchides, who had been set up by the king as commander of the garrison, was always suspecting treason from the people inside, and was causing many outrages and murders, he made the people, who were unable either nobly to defend themselves or to submit by compromise, lose all heart for either course. At any rate, the city was captured; and though Lucullus kept intact the rest of the city's adornments, he took away the globe of Billarus and the work of Sthenis, the statue of Autolycus, whom they regarded as founder of their city and honored as god. The city had also an oracle of Autolycus. He is thought to have been one of those who went on the voyage with Jason and to have taken possession of this place. Then later the Milesians, seeing the natural advantages of the place and the weakness of its inhabitants, appropriated it to themselves and sent forth colonists to it. But at present it has received also a colony of Romans; and a part of the city and the territory belong to these. It is three thousand five hundred stadia distant from the Hieron, two thousand from Heracleia, and seven hundred from Carambis. It has produced excellent men: among the philosophers, Diogenes the Cynic and Timotheus Patrion; among the poets, Diphilus the comic poet; and, among the historians, Baton, who wrote the work entitled The Persica. 16.2.39. What truth there may be in these things I cannot say; they have at least been regarded and believed as true by mankind. Hence prophets received so much honour as to be thought worthy even of thrones, because they were supposed to communicate ordices and precepts from the gods, both during their lifetime and after their death; as for example Teiresias, to whom alone Proserpine gave wisdom and understanding after death: the others flit about as shadows.Such were Amphiaraus, Trophonius, Orpheus, and Musaeus: in former times there was Zamolxis, a Pythagorean, who was accounted a god among the Getae; and in our time, Decaeneus, the diviner of Byrebistas. Among the Bosporani, there was Achaicarus; among the Indians, were the Gymnosophists; among the Persians, the Magi and Necyomanteis, and besides these the Lecanomanteis and Hydromanteis; among the Assyrians, were the Chaldaeans; and among the Romans, the Tyrrhenian diviners of dreams.Such was Moses and his successors; their beginning was good, but they degenerated.
10. Valerius Maximus, Memorable Deeds And Sayings, 1.7.3

11. Zonaras, Epitome, 7.26

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aphrodite Santangelo (2013) 71
bellona Santangelo (2013) 71
cornelius sulla,l.,dreams Santangelo (2013) 71
cornelius sulla,l. Santangelo (2013) 71
decius mus,p. Santangelo (2013) 71
delos,oracular shrine of anios(?) Renberg (2017) 526
deuotio Santangelo (2013) 71
divinities (greek and roman),anios Renberg (2017) 526
divinities (greek and roman),herakles Renberg (2017) 526
divinities (greek and roman,of punico-phoenician origin),sardus pater Renberg (2017) 526
divinities (thracian),zalmoxis Renberg (2017) 526
dreams Santangelo (2013) 71
dreams (in greek and latin literature),plutarch,life of lucullus Renberg (2017) 526
elaious Renberg (2017) 526
haruspices Santangelo (2013) 71
haruspicy Santangelo (2013) 71
litatio Santangelo (2013) 71
liver Santangelo (2013) 71
lucullus (roman general) Renberg (2017) 526
magistrates Santangelo (2013) 71
manes Santangelo (2013) 71
mater terra Santangelo (2013) 71
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),autolykos Renberg (2017) 526
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),iolaos Renberg (2017) 526
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),menestheus Renberg (2017) 526
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),odysseus Renberg (2017) 526
mythological figures (excluding olympian gods and their offspring),protesilaos Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (greek),aetolia,oracle of odysseus Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (greek),delos,oracle of anios(?) Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (greek),elaious,oracle of protesilaos Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (greek),gadeira,oracle of menestheus Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (greek),sinope,oracle of autolykos Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (italic),gadeira Renberg (2017) 526
oracles (italic),oracles of the dead (nekyomanteia/psychomanteia) Renberg (2017) 526
prodigy Santangelo (2013) 71
sardinia,claim of incubation at iolaos heroon Renberg (2017) 526
sardinia,claim of incubation at sardus pater sanctuary Renberg (2017) 526
sardinia,incubation at sleeping heroes sanctuary(?)' Renberg (2017) 526
signs Santangelo (2013) 71
veseris Santangelo (2013) 71
vesuvius Santangelo (2013) 71