|1. Plato, Phaedo, 67-68, 70-72, 69 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE) Tagged with subjects: •nan Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 78
|2. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 1 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE) Tagged with subjects: •scorn gods, ; ridicule christian beliefs Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 78
|3. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 2.646-2.651 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE) Tagged with subjects: •scorn gods, ; ridicule christian beliefs Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 76
| 2.646. omnis enim per se divom natura necessest 2.647. inmortali aevo summa cum pace fruatur 2.648. semota ab nostris rebus seiunctaque longe; 2.649. nam privata dolore omni, privata periclis, 2.650. ipsa suis pollens opibus, nihil indiga nostri, 2.651. nec bene promeritis capitur neque tangitur ira.
|4. Tacitus, Histories, 5.3-5.4, 5.9 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •scorn gods, ; ridicule christian beliefs Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 35
| 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. 5.9. The first Roman to subdue the Jews and set foot in their temple by right of conquest was Gnaeus Pompey; thereafter it was a matter of common knowledge that there were no representations of the gods within, but that the place was empty and the secret shrine contained nothing. The walls of Jerusalem were razed, but the temple remained standing. Later, in the time of our civil wars, when these eastern provinces had fallen into the hands of Mark Antony, the Parthian prince, Pacorus, seized Judea, but he was slain by Publius Ventidius, and the Parthians were thrown back across the Euphrates: the Jews were subdued by Gaius Sosius. Antony gave the throne to Herod, and Augustus, after his victory, increased his power. After Herod's death, a certain Simon assumed the name of king without waiting for Caesar's decision. He, however, was put to death by Quintilius Varus, governor of Syria; the Jews were repressed; and the kingdom was divided into three parts and given to Herod's sons. Under Tiberius all was quiet. Then, when Caligula ordered the Jews to set up his statue in their temple, they chose rather to resort to arms, but the emperor's death put an end to their uprising. The princes now being dead or reduced to insignificance, Claudius made Judea a province and entrusted it to Roman knights or to freedmen; one of the latter, Antonius Felix, practised every kind of cruelty and lust, wielding the power of king with all the instincts of a slave; he had married Drusilla, the grand-daughter of Cleopatra and Antony, and so was Antony's grandson-inâlaw, while Claudius was Antony's grandson.
|5. Justin, First Apology, 54-55, 60 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •nan Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 35
| 60. And the physiological discussion concerning the Son of God in the Tim us of Plato, where he says, He placed him crosswise in the universe, he borrowed in like manner from Moses; for in the writings of Moses it is related how at that time, when the Israelites went out of Egypt and were in the wilderness, they fell in with poisonous beasts, both vipers and asps, and every kind of serpent, which slew the people; and that Moses, by the inspiration and influence of God, took brass, and made it into the figure of a cross, and set it in the holy tabernacle, and said to the people, If you look to this figure, and believe, you shall be saved thereby. Numbers 21:8 And when this was done, it is recorded that the serpents died, and it is handed down that the people thus escaped death. Which things Plato reading, and not accurately understanding, and not apprehending that it was the figure of the cross, but taking it to be a placing crosswise, he said that the power next to the first God was placed crosswise in the universe. And as to his speaking of a third, he did this because he read, as we said above, that which was spoken by Moses, that the Spirit of God moved over the waters. For he gives the second place to the Logos which is with God, who he said was placed crosswise in the universe; and the third place to the Spirit who was said to be borne upon the water, saying, And the third around the third. And hear how the Spirit of prophecy signified through Moses that there should be a conflagration. He spoke thus: Everlasting fire shall descend, and shall devour to the pit beneath. Deuteronomy 32:22 It is not, then, that we hold the same opinions as others, but that all speak in imitation of ours. Among us these things can be heard and learned from persons who do not even know the forms of the letters, who are uneducated and barbarous in speech, though wise and believing in mind; some, indeed, even maimed and deprived of eyesight; so that you may understand that these things are not the effect of human wisdom, but are uttered by the power of God.
|6. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 10.76-10.77, 10.139 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •scorn gods, ; ridicule christian beliefs Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 76
| 10.76. Subsequently whole tribes adopted their own special names, in order that their communications might be less ambiguous to each other and more briefly expressed. And as for things not visible, so far as those who were conscious of them tried to introduce any such notion, they put in circulation certain names for them, either sounds which they were instinctively compelled to utter or which they selected by reason on analogy according to the most general cause there can be for expressing oneself in such a way.Nay more: we are bound to believe that in the sky revolutions, solstices, eclipses, risings and settings, and the like, take place without the ministration or command, either now or in the future, of any being who at the same time enjoys perfect bliss along with immortality. 10.77. For troubles and anxieties and feelings of anger and partiality do not accord with bliss, but always imply weakness and fear and dependence upon one's neighbours. Nor, again, must we hold that things which are no more than globular masses of fire, being at the same time endowed with bliss, assume these motions at will. Nay, in every term we use we must hold fast to all the majesty which attaches to such notions as bliss and immortality, lest the terms should generate opinions inconsistent with this majesty. Otherwise such inconsistency will of itself suffice to produce the worst disturbance in our minds. Hence, where we find phenomena invariably recurring, the invariableness of the recurrence must be ascribed to the original interception and conglomeration of atoms whereby the world was formed. 10.139. [A blessed and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness [Elsewhere he says that the gods are discernible by reason alone, some being numerically distinct, while others result uniformly from the continuous influx of similar images directed to the same spot and in human form.]Death is nothing to us; for the body, when it has been resolved into its elements, has no feeling, and that which has no feeling is nothing to us.The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.
|7. Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 2.1 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •scorn gods, ; ridicule christian beliefs Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 78
| 2.1. Although I have shown in the first book that the religious ceremonies of the gods are false, because those in whose honour the general consent of men throughout the world by a foolish persuasion undertook various and dissimilar rites were mortals, and when they had completed their term of life, yielded to a divinely appointed necessity and died, yet, lest any doubt should be left, this second book shall lay open the very fountain of errors, and shall explain all the causes by which men were deceived, so that at first they believed that they were gods, and afterwards with an inveterate persuasion persevered in the religious observances which they had most perversely undertaken. For I desire, O Emperor Constantine, now that I have proved the emptiness of these things, and brought to light the impious vanity of men, to assert the majesty of the one God, undertaking the more useful and greater duty of recalling men from crooked paths, and of bringing them back into favour with themselves, that they may not, as some philosophers do, so greatly despise themselves, nor think that they are weak and useless, and of no account, and altogether born in vain. For this notion drives many to vicious pursuits. For while they imagine that we are a care to no God, or that we are about to have no existence after death, they altogether give themselves to the indulgence of their passions; and while they think that it is allowed them, they eagerly apply themselves to the enjoyment of pleasures, by which they unconsciously run into the snares of death; for they are ignorant as to what is reasonable conduct on the part of man: for if they wished to understand this, in the first place they would acknowledge their Lord, and would follow after virtue and justice; they would not subject their souls to the influence of earth-born fictions, nor would they seek the deadly fascinations of their lusts; in short, they would value themselves highly, and would understand that there is more in man than appears; and that they cannot retain their power and standing unless men lay aside depravity, and undertake the worship of their true Parent. I indeed, as I ought, often reflecting on the sum of affairs, am accustomed to wonder that the majesty of the one God, which keeps together and rules all things, has come to be so forgotten, that the only befitting object of worship is, above all others, the one which is especially neglected; and that men have sunk to such blindness, that they prefer the dead to the true and living God, and those who are of the earth, and buried in the earth, to Him who was the Creator of the earth itself. And yet this impiety of men might meet with some indulgence if the error entirely arose from ignorance of the divine name. But since we often see that the worshippers of other gods themselves confess and acknowledge the Supreme God, what pardon can they hope for their impiety, who do not acknowledge the worship of Him whom man cannot altogether be ignorant of? For both in swearing, and in expressing a wish, and in giving thanks, they do not name Jupiter, or a number of gods, but God; so entirely does the truth of its own accord break forth by the force of nature even from unwilling breasts. And this, indeed, is not the case with men in their prosperity. For then most of all does God escape the memory of men, when in the enjoyment of His benefits they ought to honour His divine beneficence. But if any weighty necessity shall press them, then they remember God. If the terror of war shall have resounded, if the pestilential force of diseases shall have overhung them, if long-continued drought shall have denied nourishment to the crops, if a violent tempest or hail shall have assailed them, they betake themselves to God, aid is implored from God, God is entreated to succour them. If any one is tossed about on the sea, the wind being furious, it is this God whom he invokes. If any one is harassed by any violence, he implores His aid. If any one, reduced to the last extremity of poverty, begs for food, he appeals to God alone, and by His divine and matchless name alone he seeks to gain the compassion of men. Thus they never remember God, unless it be while they are in trouble. When fear has left them, and the dangers have withdrawn, then in truth they quickly hasten to the temples of the gods: they pour libations to them, they sacrifice to them, they crown them with garlands. But to God, whom they called upon in their necessity itself, they do not give thanks even in word. Thus from prosperity arises luxury; and from luxury, together with all other vices, there arises impiety towards God. From what cause can we suppose this to arise? Unless we imagine that there is some perverse power which is always hostile to the truth, which rejoices in the errors of men, whose one and only task it is perpetually to scatter darkness, and to blind the minds of men, lest they should see the light - lest, in short, they should look to heaven, and observe the nature of their own body, the origin of which we shall relate at the proper place; but now let us refute fallacies. For since other animals look down to the ground, with bodies bending forward, because they have not received reason and wisdom, whereas an upright position and an elevated countece have been given to us by the Creator God, it is evident that these ceremonies paid to the gods are not in accordance with the reason of man, because they bend down the heaven-sprung being to the worship of earthly objects. For that one and only Parent of ours, when He created man - that is, an animal intelligent and capable of exercising reason, - raised him from the ground, and elevated him to the contemplation of his Creator. As an ingenious poet has well represented it:- And when other animals bend forward and look to the earth, He gave to man an elevated countece, and commanded him to look up to the heaven, and to raise his countece erect to stars.From this circumstance the Greeks plainly derived the name ἄ νθρωπος, because he looks upward. They therefore deny themselves, and renounce the name of man, who do not look up, but downward: unless they think that the fact of our being upright is assigned to man without any cause. God willed that we should look up to heaven, and undoubtedly not without reason. For both the birds and almost all of the dumb creation see the heaven, but it is given to us in a peculiar manner to behold the heaven as we stand erect, that we may seek religion there; that since we cannot see God with our eyes, we may with our mind contemplate Him, whose throne is there: and this cannot assuredly be done by him who worships brass and stone, which are earthly things. But it is most incorrect that the nature of the body, which is temporary, should be upright, but that the soul itself, which is eternal, should be abject; whereas the figure and position have no other signification, except that the mind of man ought to look in the same direction as his countece, and that his soul ought to be as upright as his body, so that it may imitate that which it ought to rule. But men, forgetful both of their name and nature, cast down their eyes from the heaven, and fix them upon the ground, and fear the works of their own hands, as though anything could be greater than its own artificer.
|8. Vergil, Aeneis, 6.550-6.551, 6.566-6.569, 6.637-6.678 Tagged with subjects: •scorn gods, ; ridicule christian beliefs Found in books: Sider (2001), Christian and Pagan in the Roman Empire: The Witness of Tertullian, 67
| 6.550. Aeneas through hell's portal moved, while sleep 6.551. Its warder buried; then he fled that shore 6.566. The vital essence. Willingly, alas! 6.567. They now would suffer need, or burdens bear, 6.568. If only life were given! But Fate forbids. 6.569. Around them winds the sad, unlovely wave 6.637. A feeble shout, or vainly opened wide 6.639. Here Priam's son, with body rent and torn, 6.640. Deiphobus Deïphobus is seen,—his mangled face, 6.641. His face and bloody hands, his wounded head 6.642. of ears and nostrils infamously shorn. 6.643. Scarce could Aeneas know the shuddering shade 6.644. That strove to hide its face and shameful scar; 6.645. But, speaking first, he said, in their own tongue: 6.646. “Deiphobus, strong warrior, nobly born 6.647. of Teucer's royal stem, what ruthless foe 6.648. Could wish to wreak on thee this dire revenge? 6.649. Who ventured, unopposed, so vast a wrong? 6.650. The rumor reached me how, that deadly night, 6.651. Wearied with slaying Greeks, thyself didst fall 6.652. Prone on a mingled heap of friends and foes. 6.653. Then my own hands did for thy honor build 6.654. An empty tomb upon the Trojan shore, 6.655. And thrice with echoing voice I called thy shade. 6.656. Thy name and arms are there. But, 0 my friend, 6.657. Thee could I nowhere find, but launched away, 6.658. Nor o'er thy bones their native earth could fling.” 6.659. To him the son of Priam thus replied: 6.660. “Nay, friend, no hallowed rite was left undone, 6.661. But every debt to death and pity due 6.662. The shades of thy Deiphobus received. 6.663. My fate it was, and Helen's murderous wrong, 6.664. Wrought me this woe; of her these tokens tell. 6.665. For how that last night in false hope we passed, 6.666. Thou knowest,—ah, too well we both recall! 6.667. When up the steep of Troy the fateful horse 6.668. Came climbing, pregt with fierce men-at-arms, 6.669. 't was she, accurst, who led the Phrygian dames 6.670. In choric dance and false bacchantic song, 6.671. And, waving from the midst a lofty brand, 6.672. Signalled the Greeks from Ilium 's central tower 6.673. In that same hour on my sad couch I lay, 6.674. Exhausted by long care and sunk in sleep, 6.675. That sweet, deep sleep, so close to tranquil death. 6.676. But my illustrious bride from all the house 6.677. Had stolen all arms; from 'neath my pillowed head 6.678. She stealthily bore off my trusty sword;