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Emphases are on sources, possible sources, influences, possible influences, utilized in the writings composing the NEW TESTAMENT (presumed originals of extant versions, apparently, from the 2nd - 4th centuries C.E.).


ORAL TRADITIONS (see: Oral Tradition as History, Jan Vansina, 1985; etc.).


GREEK AUTHORS (Epimenides, Menander, Aratus, (see 1508); Socrates, Plato (see 1570; etc.); Aristotle; Epicurus; who else? (see 1602, 1641-1643; etc.).

OLD TESTAMENT (presumed originals of extant versions, apparently, from the 5th - 2nd centuries B.C.E.).

EPICURUS [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] (Epicureanism: in general, a highly influential Greek Philosophy).

STOICISM (see: Roman Stoicism, E. Vernon Arnold, 1958 (1911)).

GNOSTICISM (one root, possibly traceable to Orphism, 5th century B.C.E. (see #24, 504)).

PHILO [Judaeus] of Alexandria 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E. (Philonism).

SENECA c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E. (a major representative of Stoicism (see 1586)).

JOSEPHUS c. 37 - c. 100 C.E. (see: Josephus and the New Testament, Steve Mason, 1993 (c1992)).

APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA ("so-called extracanonical writings" (173)) (see: Encyc. Religion, vol. 2, c1987, 173-183, James H. Charlesworth) (see 1499 ("ChristRes" ("Christian Resources"); etc.)).

[See: The Myth of New Testament Manuscript Evidence (1499)].



[See: 1497-1499, 1641-1644].

PAGE 1496


1 Mythologies 1500-1503

2 Finding the Old Testament in the New [reviews 1504-1505] 1504-1518

." [from: 1506].

3 The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 1519-1519

4 Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts 1519-1520

5 The Ancestry of Our English Bible 1520-1521

6 The Bible in the Making 1521-1521

7 The Cambridge History of the Bible 1521-1521

8 The Essene-Christian Faith 1522-1522

following: emphasis on Epicurus c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.

9 A Rationalist Encyclopaedia 1523-1524

10 The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 1525-1525

11 The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha 1525-1525

12 American Journal of Philology [review of 14] 1526-1526

13 The Journal of Philosophy [review of 14] 1527-1527

14 Epicurus and His Philosophy 1528-1535

15 The Dalhousie Review [review of 20] 1536-1536

16 The Classical Journal [review of 20] 1537-1537

17 The Phoenix [review of 20] 1538-1538

18 The Classical Review [review of 20] 1539-1539


PAGE 1497



19 The Apostle Paul and Epicurus ["review" of 20] 1540-1541

20 St. Paul and Epicurus 1542-1551

21 The Island of the Innocent 1552-1553

following: emphasis on Philo of Alexandria 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.;

Seneca c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.; Bruno Bauer 1809 - 1882;

Thomas Lumisden Strange 1808 - 1884

22 Philo and the Church Fathers 1554-1556

23 Philo of Alexandria 1557-1564

24 The Encyclopedia of Unbelief [Bauer] 1565-1567

25 Christ and the Caesars [Bauer] 1568-1572

26 The Sources and Development of Christianity [Strange] 1573-1579

following: emphasis on Seneca c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.

27 A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology 1580-1580

28 A Dictionary of Christian Biography 1581-1581

29 The Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1582-1582

30 Latin Literature, A History 1583-1583

31 Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean 1584-1584

32 Seneca in English 1585-1585

33 The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 1586-1586

34 Seneca the Philosopher and His Modern Message 1587-1590

35 Augustine [354 - 430] and the Latin Classics 1591-1592

36 Saint Augustine, Letters 1593-1593

37 Saint Augustine, Confessions 1594-1594

38 Saint Augustine, The City of God 1595-1599

39 Guide to the Thought of Lucious Annaeus Seneca 1600-1605

PAGE 1498

40 Senecan Tragedy; Seneca's Troades 1606-1608

41 Seneca, A Critical Bibliography 1609-1614

42 Seneca, Ad Lucilium, Epistulae Morales 1615-1624

43 Seneca, The Humanist at the Court of Nero 1625-1629

44 Seneca, A Philosopher in Politics 1630-1632

following: emphasis on Colonial America (Minds!)

45 The American Colonial Mind and the Classical Tradition 1633-1638

46 Seven Wise Men of Colonial America 1639-1640

Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (Jewish (and "Christian")): knowledge of (including datings), commonly problematic (see 1508; etc.).

"Christian" Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: probable tendez to postdate (to negate, as a New Testament source; etc.).

Books of the New Testament (apparently, from the 2nd - 4th centuries C.E.) are predated for many reasons, and, with many affects/effects. One affect/effect: increased competition, with Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.


from: [now (4/28/2006), has been modified:]

"The Myth of New Testament Manuscript Evidence"

"Considering the myriad of illusionary and dishonest tactics used by Evangelical Christians, it would be difficult to choose the ones that I feel are the most dishonest."

"Outright Deception"

'what we're mainly concerned with here is the outright dishonest claims regarding the number of early New Testament manuscripts....


"Table of Greek Manuscripts" [Link]. [Must See this website].

PAGE 1499


from: Mythologies, compiled by Yves Bonnefoy, a restructured translation of Dictionnaire des mythologies et des religions des sociétés traditionnelles et du monde antique, prepared under the direction of Wendy Doniger, translated by Gerald Honigsblum, 2 Vols., Volume Two, University of Chicago Press, 1991 (Paris 1981).

"The Survival of Myths in Early Christianity"

'II. Orientation and Solar Myths

Early Christians prayed facing east, where the sun rises. This differs from the custom of the Jews, who pray facing Jerusalem, as Daniel does in the biblical book that bears his name (6.11); so important is this difference that Elkesai, the founder of a Judeo-Christian sect, dissociated himself from Christianity by prescribing that his followers face Jerusalem and forbidding them to face EAST. The Scriptures contain many details confirming each in its own way the special position of the east: the earthly paradise was planted "to the east" (Gen. 2.8); it is believed that Christ's ascension took an eastward course, for the Latin version of Psalm 68 (67), verse 34, applies to the Lord the phrase qui ascendit super caelum caeli ad orientem ("who ascended above heaven, to the east of heaven"), and his return is also expected to come from the east; the angel in the Revelation of John (7.2) rises out of the east, and so forth.

THESE COINCIDENCES RESULT NOT FROM MERE CHANCE BUT FROM THE EARLY ASSIMILATION OF CHRIST TO THE SUN, IN PARTICULAR THE RISING SUN. The classical work on this subject remains that of F.J. Dölger [in German].27 Already in the hymn [(song) Benedictus (Luke 1:67-79)] of Zachariah [Greek. Hebrew: Zechariah] (Luke 1.78-79), Jesus is called "the morning sun from heaven [who] will rise upon us, to shine on those who live in darkness, under the cloud of death." This has the ring of a prophetic naming of Christ as the "sun of righteousness" referred to in Malachi (4.2); Tertullian summarizes an entire past and future tradition when he writes (Adversus Valentinianes 3:1): orientem, christi figuram ("the east, the figure of Christ"). The metaphor was already well implanted when, at the end of the third century, it became even more firmly rooted and was used to thwart the cult of Sol invictus imposed by the Emperor Aurelian. Thus, the pagan festival of the dies natalis Solis invicti ("the day of the birth of the unvanquished Sun"), celebrated on 25 December when the exhausted sun is reborn, made way for the nativity of the solar Christ.' [653-654]. [See: #13, 263-328, passim]. [See: 1098-1099 (Divus Julius)].


PAGE 1500

"Christianity and Pagan Mythology"

"II. Rhetorical ["eloquently expressed"; "calculated to persuade"; etc.] Uses"

[1.] "....Christian authors, from SAINT PAUL to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Maximus the Confessor (sixth and seventh centuries), INDULGE FREELY IN THESE BORROWINGS FROM THE VOCABULARY AND NOTIONS OF THE GREEK MYSTERIES; the reader may consult E. Hatch's classic work and a more recent work by Arthur Darby Nock.5 [see footnote, below]" [656].

[footnote] ["Notes"] "5. E. Hatch, The Influence of Greek Ideas on Christianity; 2d ed. by F.C. Grant (New York and Evanston 1957), 283-309; A.D. Nock, Early Gentile Christianity and Its Hellenistic Background (New York 1964), 116-45." [665]. [See: 1641-1643].

"We could go on citing forever the rhetorical uses of paganism made by Clement [Clement of Alexandria c. 150 - c. 215] and his successors in order to formulate Christian ideas...." [656-657].

'III. The Chronological Quarrel

1. Newness and oldness. It is according to these categories ["Newness and oldness"], need it be said, that the New Testament defines itself with regard to the Old. This antithesis is not absent from the Gospels (the old skins and the new wine of Matthew 9.17, etc.); but it is with Paul that it takes on its true dimension: the Christian is invited to take off the "old man" to put on the "new man" (Colossians 3.9-10; Ephesians 4.22-24); he shall serve in the newness of the spirit and no longer in the oldness of the letter (Romans 7.6); he shall be a new creature in Christ, for whom vetera transierunt, ecce facta sunt omnia nova ("the old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"; 2 Corinthians 5.17. Taking its cue from this Pauline theme, one of the earliest documents of noncanonical Christian literature, the Epistle of Barnabus (5.7; 7.5), twice calls Christians "the new people" (ho laos ho kainos).

Saint Paul defined Christian newness with regard to Judaism. Next came the tendency to cast Hellenism together with Judaism as two parallel expressions of oldness. This is what we find in a second century apocryphal text, the Kerygma Petri: "It is in a new way that you worship God through the Christ....The Lord has laid down a new covenant for us; for the ways of the Greeks and Jews are old, but we Christians worship him in a new way in a third generation." Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - c. 215], citing this text [Kerygma Petri], accentuates this ternary aspect immediately afterward: "(Peter), it seems to me, clearly showed that the one and only God is known by the Greeks in pagan fashion, by the Jews in Jewish fashion, but by us in a new and spiritual fashion" (Stromateis' [658].

PAGE 1501


'[1.] the Christians professed themselves to be the "new people," but also because the Gospels and especially the Pauline writings strove to dissociate them from a Judaism that was judged to be outdated.

A passage from Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 225], himself somewhat of an anti-Semite, conveys this ambiguity:

"But since we have stated that OUR RELIGION [CHRISTIANISM ("CHRISTIANITY")] IS FOUNDED UPON THE DOCUMENTS OF THE JEWS [see 1506-1518; etc.], which are so old, though it is generally known (and we ourselves agree) that our religion is itself comparatively new, belonging as it does to the time of Tiberius [Emperor 14 - 37 C.E. (42 B.C.E. - 37 C.E.)], perhaps one might on this ground discuss its nature and say that, under the cover of a religion that is very illustrious and certainly authorized by law, our religion conceals certain new ideas that are its own, for aside from the question of age we do not agree with the Jews about abstaining from certain foods, or about the sanctity of festival days, or about their distinctive bodily mark, or sharing their name, which would of course be our duty if we were the servants of the same God" (Apologeticus 21.1-2). Nor did the false situation in which the Christians found themselves escape their adversaries; this is the reproach put in the mouth of the Jew in Celsus's [2nd century] True Discourse: "How can you trace your beginnings back to our sacred texts and yet, in doing so, scorn them, while you have no other origin to claim for your doctrine than our Law?" (in Origen [c. 185 - c. 254], Contra Celsum 2.4).' [658].

"2. Antiquity and truth. Given that the Christians could validly claim their antiquity through Judaism, just as a young grafted branch acquires the age of the old stock of the wild olive (a metaphor that Tertullian, in De Testimonio Animae 5.6, takes up, not without alterations, from Saint Paul in Romans 11.17-24), the Church Fathers increased their efforts to prove that Jewish prophecy [see 1546] was older than Greek culture...." [658].

PAGE 1502

"VI. An Apologetic Starting Point"

'2. The Christ and the sons of Zeus. We have recalled how the Christians of the first generations insisted that the "newness" of their religion be recognized. A passage from Justin [Justin Martyr c. 100 - c. 165 C.E.] that speaks of the most miraculous aspects of the person and life of Jesus is therefore surprising:

"We offer nothing new with respect to those among you who are considered the sons of Zeus." What follows shows that this declaration is to be taken literally: if Jesus is the Word of God, it must be known that this is something he [Jesus] holds in common with Hermes, the Word of Zeus; if he [Jesus] was born of a virgin, so was Perseus; if he [Jesus] healed the sick and raised the dead, it must be admitted that Asclepius did the same; if he [Jesus] was crucified, the sons of Zeus too had their passions (Asclepius struck by lightning, Dionysus dismembered, Heracles throwing himself into fire); and finally, if he [Jesus] ascended into heaven, such was also the case with Asclepius, the Dioscuri, Perseus, Bellerophon on the back of Pegasus, and Ariadne who was placed among the stars--to say nothing of the deceased emperors (First Apology 21.1-3; 22.2-6).... [see (star, stars): 1566, 1570, 1614, 1624]

No doubt his [Justin Martyr] strategy is an apologetic one: by maximizing the parallels between Christ and the Greek gods, he may legitimately claim the same welcome among the pagans for Christ as for the Greek gods. A little later, Justin clearly declares his aspirations--and his chagrin at failing to see them realized--when he says: "While we say the same things as the Greeks, we alone are hated!" (ibid., 24.1). Naturally, this desire to gain a foothold, even at little cost, among the pagan masses, can only represent an initial and minimal phase in the APOLOGETIC ENTERPRISE. As Justin himself notes, Christ has arguments other than this in his favor:

"All of our [Christians] teachings received from Christ...are alone true..., and if we judge them worthy of being welcomed by you, it is not because of these resemblances but because WE [CHRISTIANS] SPEAK THE TRUTH." As for explaining the analogies in question, the chapter ends with the thesis dear to this author [Justin Martyr]: "Before the Word [apparently, Logos [see 1564]] became man [apparently, "Jesus"] among men, some took the initiative under the influence of evil demons and, through the intermediary of THE POETS, PRESENTED AS REALITY THE MYTHS THEY HAD INVENTED" (ibid., 23.1, 3).' [663]. [See (Justin Martyr): #3, 52-54, 256.-263.; etc.].

PAGE 1503

from: Book Review Digest, Seventy-First Annual Cumulation, March 1975 to February 1976 Inclusive, H.W. Wilson Company, 1976.

[Book Reviews] 'Shires, Henry M. Finding the Old Testament in the New.

251p $7.50 '74 Westminster Press

220.6 Bible. N.T. Bible. O.T.

ISBN 0-664-20993-9 LC 73-19600

"The author [Henry M. Shires], professor of New Testament at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, [offers a] picture of the ways in which citations of the Old Testament have been used by New Testament authors. He includes all direct quotations, whether or not prefaced by a formula, NT verses that directly use OT material, and NT passages indirectly dependent upon OT texts. The author is concerned with the location and frequency of such citations, as well as their content (e.g., OT parallels to sayings of Jesus, the book of Psalms in the NT)." (Choice [see 1505]) Bibliography. Subject index and Bible passages index.

"The citations are in English and the book is addressed to the nonspecialist student of the Bible, with a very extensive collection of tables and indices that provide material for further study. In particular, the author devotes a long chapter to the New Testament use of Psalms, by far the most quoted book and one of the most important sources of early Christian theology. Shires reckons with a total of just over 1,600 quotations, not all, of course, discussed in the book. This is a conservatively low figure....Shires does not often introduce the reader to the formative and creative role of the Old Testament in Christian theology itself, but his study is a helpful propaedeutic [sic] to this more adventuresome task." G.W. MacRae

America 131:330 N 23 '74 180w [w = word (apparently, 180 word review)]

"[Shires] makes clear the various ways NT authors used the OT (e.g., as prediction fulfilled or illustration and to flesh out essentials of Christian preaching)....[His book] holds a place as a repository of raw material, inviting the reader to develop his own detailed interpretations of biblical passages. The author's language is non-technical. Indices of all scriptural passages and 11 tables arranging the material in various categories make the book very useful for further study. Essential for libraries with an interest in undergraduate studies of the Bible."

Choice [see 1505] 11:1491 D '74 200w

"Usually biblical scholars wrestle with the question of 'Christ in the Old Testament' and similar tanglers. Finding the Old in the New is easier, because of the citation systems. But Dr. Shires goes further than mere counting; he gives an accounting and focuses on contexts and meanings. His book will inform almost anyone's understanding of Scripture."

Christian Century 91:620 Je 5 '74 40w' [1159]. [End of entry].

PAGE 1504

from: Choice [see 1504], December 1974, Vol. 11, No. 10.

[Book Review] "Shires, Henry M. Finding the Old Testament in the New. Westminster, 1974. 251p tab bibl 73-19600. 7.50. ISBN 0-664-20993-9. C.I.P.

The author, professor of New Testament at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, proves a comprehensive picture of the ways in which citations of the OT have been used by NT authors. He includes all direct quotations, whether or not prefaced by a formula, NT verses that directly use OT material, and NT passages indirectly dependent upon OT texts. The author is concerned with the location and frequency of such citations, as well as their content (e.g., O.T. parallels to sayings of Jesus, the book of Psalms in the NT). He makes clear the various ways NT authors used the OT (e.g., as prediction fulfilled or illustration and to flesh out essentials of Christian preaching). Less interpretative and specialized than Robert H. Gundry's The use of the Old Testament in St. Matthew's Gospel (1967), Edwin Freed's Old Testament quotations in the Gospel of John (1965), and Krister Stendahl's The school of St. Matthew and its use of the Old Testament (1968), this book nevertheless holds a place as a repository of raw material, inviting the reader to develop his own detailed interpretations of biblical passages. The author's language is non-technical. Indices of all scriptural passages and 11 tables arranging the material in various categories make the book very useful for further study. Essential for libraries with an interest in undergraduate studies of the Bible." [1491].

[See: Paul's Use of the Old Testament, E. Earle Ellis, Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1957].


PAGE 1505



from: Finding the Old Testament in the New, Henry M. Shires, Westminster Press, c1974.

[Note: the index does not list possible sources, possible influences, utilized in the writings composing the New Testament, such as: Epicurus (Epicureanism), Stoicism, Gnosticism, Philo (Philonism), Seneca, Josephus, (see 1496)].

'Chapter I

The New Testament [N.T.] View

of the Old Testament [O.T.]

The Centrality of the Old Testament

In many ways the O.T. was an embarrassment for early Christianity. The latter ["Christianity"] was presumably far removed from the primitive thoughts and expressions of some parts of the former ["O.T."]. The God of the Christians seemed to have little in common with the vengeful, angry, and changeable God of some of the early Hebrew writings. The moral standards of the followers of Christ could not easily be reconciled with a code of conduct that demanded repayment in kind of "an eye for an eye." To Christians who were making their way in the strange if not hostile conditions of the Roman Empire much of the O.T. appeared to be outdated. It was the PRODUCT of another day and of different circumstances. The O.T. had been written in Hebrew, with a few surviving sections in the closely related Aramaic language. On the other hand,


"In view of the Jewish origins of Christianity it is not surprising that Christian writings of the early period would show some reflections of the O.T., but the extent to which the O.T. is actually employed as a foundation for Christian literature is remarkable and unexpected. Of the twenty-seven books of the N.T only the one-chapter letter to Philemon shows no direct relationship to the O.T. The remaining twenty-six contain some acknowledged O.T. quotation, or unacknowledged quotation, or a quotation that has been rephrased, or an allusion in thought or language, or at least the borrowing of an O.T. phrase. As we shall see, some of the N.T. books are heavily indebted to the O.T., while others may contain only a few reflections of it. However, its influence is pervasive.


[see #1, 11, 88.]

PAGE 1506

A careful, detailed study of the Bible provides statistical support for these generalizations. Acknowledged O.T. quotations, always introduced by some kind of formula, are found in 239 instances in the N.T. and are drawn from 185 different passages in the O.T. Quotations that are unacknowledged and not introduced by any formula total 198 and are taken from 147 O.T. passages. In addition, 944 O.T. passages are reworded or directly referred to in 1,167 instances in the N.T. In these three categories there are at least 1,604 N.T. citations of 1,276 different O.T. passages. To this total could be added several thousand more N.T. passages that clearly allude to or reflect O.T. verses. There are also well over 100 O.T. phrases that reappear in the N.T. and that testify to THE INCALCULABLE LITERARY INFLUENCE WHICH THE OLD [TESTAMENT] HAS EXERTED ON THE NEW [TESTAMENT]. This evidence is all the more remarkable since the N.T. was written in a different language [Greek], on Gentile soil, and almost exclusively for Gentiles...." [15-16].

"Freedom of Citation

An investigation into the dependence of the N.T. on the Old involves numerous problems and difficulties. There are few explicit quotations in the O.T., but there are many in the N.T., and most of them are straightforward and clear. It is unlikely that a Christian writer would have had a copy of an O.T. book available for checking his reference to it or would have taken the time and trouble to unroll the scroll if one were at hand. Therefore, it can [?] be assumed that generally [?] quotations were made by memory [?], which was often faulty. This fact [not a "fact", a guess] helps to explain why some of the quotations are reproduced with exactness, whereas others depart considerably from the original [version]. In both cases the intent may have been to make a faithful quotation. It should be remembered, however, that classical Greek authors demonstrate a wide degree of freedom in their deliberate quotations

[my guess: the author (Shires) may be distracting [intentionally, and/or unintentionally, and/or: consciously, and/or unconsciously] attention from some possible sources--varying versions of the Old Testament]...." [16-17]. [See: 1562].

"Composite Quotations

Many of the quotations are clearly composite; they are drawn from more than a single source and often involve changes that are necessary to weave together material from two or three different sections of the O.T...." [18].

"Unidentified Quotations

The sources of some of the apparent quotations from the O.T. can no longer be identified, even though in most cases some partial parallels can be drawn...." [19].

PAGE 1507


'Extracanonical Quotations

In the foregoing instances it has been suggested that "scripture" may refer to literature that is outside the O.T. However, we shall have occasion to point out that in the N.T. the word "scripture" does clearly mean no more than the thirty-nine books of the O.T. It is true that in Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; and Tit. 1:12 there are quotations from or reflections of such Greek authors as Aratus [Aratus of Soli c. 315 - c. 245 B.C.E.], Menander [342 - 292 B.C.E.], and Epimenides ["semi-legendary Greek poet and priest...7th or 6th century BC" (Cambridge Bio. Dict.)]. In the N.T. generally there are allusions to or reflections (often secondary) of books of the Apocrypha: Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, 2 Esdras, and 1 Maccabees; and of some books of the Pseudepigrapha: Psalms of Solomon, Enoch, Assumption of Moses, and 3 and 4 Maccabees.

In addition, Paul may have made some use of the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, and Jude probably knew the Testament of Moses. Yet the only passage from any noncanonical Jewish literature that is even implicitly quoted in the whole N.T. is Enoch 1:9, which is abstracted in Jude 14. All other quotations, explicit or implicit, are drawn from the O.T. Scripture. The solution to the problem of quotations or specific references that cannot be immediately identified in the O.T. ["The solution", in part, as indicated above (this page), may exist apart, from the O.T.] lies rather in a study of the ways in which Jewish Scripture is used by Christians.' [20-21].

[This author (Shires) maintains nearly all focus on the Old Testament, as a (the?) source, for the New Testament].

"Chains of Quotations

The reader of the N.T. must notice at once the many instances in which two or more different quotations are strung together consecutively...." [21].

'Matters of Context

We are told by Joachim Jeremias that "in the Judaism of this period, when large parts of scripture were heart, it was regularly the custom to quote only the beginning of a passage, even if its continuation were kept in mind."' [22].

"the [Old Testament] passages quoted in the N.T. are usually very short and are regarded as significant in themselves without reference to their context [compare: exempla of Seneca, 1631]. In fact, in some instances a text may be applied in the N.T. in a manner that is quite contrary to O.T. meaning and context. Occasionally, isolated verses will be used by Christian authors for theological purposes in the manner of a proof text even though the original meaning of the verses could have no Christian significance. Verbal play and literalism are by no means unknown in the N.T. Moreover, in those cases where two or more Christian writers quote or refer to the same O.T. verse there is no necessary agreement among them as to the extent of the material quoted....[see "Freedom of Citation" (1507)]" [23].

PAGE 1508

"Forms of Adaptation

Christian authors did not cite the O.T. for its own sake but rather made such use of it as would advance the gospel. Accordingly, we are not surprised to discover that frequently an O.T. text is altered in some manner for the sake of the interpretation which is made of it and the use to which it is put...." [24].

'Old Testament Authority and Inspiration

Jewish Scripture was viewed as authoritative for belief and practice even though there were for the Christians additional sources of authority. The ways in which appeal is made to the O.T. are evidence of the high regard in which it was held. For Christians, as for Jews, the place of Scripture was unique. The Scripture (literally, "that which is written") possesses an objective and fixed reality [?]....' [26].

"Christian Interpretation

Scripture was only one authority for early Christianity. Another was Jesus Christ, and he alone is the key to the Christian understanding of all Scripture...." [29].

"The Concept of Fulfillment

Both Jews and Christians recognized that because the Scriptures were inspired writings their unfulfilled prophecies demanded some kind of fulfillment. The O.T. everywhere looks toward a future in which God will reign over all mankind and there will be peace and happiness on earth. There is in the Jewish Scriptures an inescapable incompleteness and a deep longing for the coming of God in power and right to correct man's evil and failings.

At the heart of the first Christian proclamation was the conviction that Jesus is the fulfillment of the unfulfilled prophecies and hopes of the O.T.

['deus ex machina (Latin: "god from the machine"), in ancient Greek and Roman drama, the timely appearance of a god to unravel and resolve the plot. The deus ex machina was named for the convention of the god appearing in the sky, an effect achieved by means of a crane (Greek: mechane). The dramatic device dates from the 5th century BC; a god appears in Sophocles' Philoctetes and in most of the plays of Euripides to solve a crisis by divine intervention.

Since ancient times, the phrase has also been applied to an unexpected saviour, or to an improbable event that brings order out of chaos (e.g., the arrival, in time to avert tragedy, of the U.S. cavalry in a western film).' [End of entry] (Encyc. Brit.)]

The whole story of God's plans and purposes for Israel as developed in all the Jewish writings is now said to reach its climax and goal in the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth. In this manner Christian authors are governed by a belief in an essential continuity between the Jewish Scriptures and THEIR OWN [CHRISTIAN] COMPOSITIONS...." [31]. [See: 1564 (deus ex machina)].

PAGE 1509

> "The third authority for early Christianity, along with the Jewish Scriptures and Jesus, was the Holy Spirit, who was somehow [Yes! Voodoo!] [here, even the author (Shires) "bogs down"] to be closely related to Jesus...." [33].

'The authority that the early Christian writers ascribed to Jewish Scripture was not such that it prevented all alteration of the O.T. text. Rather, as E.D. Freed has noted, in his book Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John [see 1505] (p. 27), "All the New Testament and early Christian writers frequently altered the passages quoted to support the theological view of the writer which was responsible for the use of the quotation in the first place." At times it appears that the O.T. is being rejected as no longer in force. Yet support for this type of judgment is sought in the O.T. itself. Even within Jewish Scripture we discover the same kind of freedom in the treatment of inherited traditions that we see in the way in which N.T. authors make use, FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES, of O.T. material. Jewish writers had already demonstrated that, in order to discover God's unfolding purpose in the often strange and unexpected developments in Jewish history, it was sometimes necessary to adapt old traditions to meet new situations. Christians had no doubts about the newness brought by Jesus, and they made such use of the traditions of Scripture as would clarify that newness.' [34] [End of Chapter 1].

'So many instances of fulfillment are set forth in the Gospels that they are usually introduced by SET FORMULAS, such as, "This took place so that what was spoken by the prophet [or "Isaiah," or "Jeremiah," or "the Lord"] might be fulfilled." Sometimes the formulas are placed on Jesus' lips, and sometimes they are introduced by the Evangelists....' [47-48].

PAGE 1510

"Chapter 3

What Was Chosen for Citation


Class one includes all the N.T. quotations of the O.T. that are prefaced by a formula of introduction that clearly designates that which follows as a quotation and that often names the original author. Material in this class is objectively definable and usually represents careful and accurate reproduction of the O.T. text. Class two is also made up of O.T. quotations, but they are without any introduction or acknowledgment and are somewhat fewer in number than the citations in the first class. Class-two quotations cannot therefore always be determined with the same objectivity and accuracy. Sometimes they may be less faithful to the form and wording of the Hebrew original, but in every case their character as intended quotations is unmistakable. As a subheading of this second class we must include those more than 100 distinctive O.T. phrases which reappear unpredictably throughout the N.T. Class three consists of large numbers of N.T. verses in which O.T. material has been distinctly utilized. There is direct borrowing, but at the same time the O.T. has been treated with a greater degree of freedom. The author may have wanted to make a quotation, but if so, he has altered his source. Material in the O.T. may have been inaccurately remembered, or the argument of the N.T. author may have required some adaptation. Dependence on the O.T. may be real but unconscious. In dealing with verses assigned to class three the critic must admit the necessity for some subjective judgment. Yet the characteristics of this class are distinct. It is possible to speak also of a fourth class in which there is indirect or probable dependence upon the O.T. The uncertainties are such, however, that verses placed in this class may represent only the influence of a general tradition of thought and expression that forms part of the background of the O.T. also. Such parallel expressions of a common influence become too numerous and too lacking in real significance to make possible or worthwhile their identification and examination. Thus, in this study we will limit ourselves to the first three classes, with particular attention to the first class." [65-66].

PAGE 1511


The formula-quotations of class one provide the most satisfactory means available for investigating in detail the whole subject of the N.T. use of Scripture. As previously noted, there are 239 instances of citations of this type in the N.T., and they are absent only from Philemon, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, 1, 2, and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. Common to all three Synoptic Gospels 8 such quotations occur; 4 more are found in both Matthew and Mark; and an additional 5 appear in both Matthew and Luke. Furthermore, there are 22 citations of this class unique to Matthew and 4 that are unique to Luke. John contains 13 and Acts, 25. In his four major epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians), Paul includes 76 of these citations, of which more than one half are found in Romans. Also notable are the 37 formula-quotations that appear in Hebrews. The instances of citations of the first class can thus be isolated and counted and their manner of introduction and use analyzed. Furthermore, in each case there can be no doubt about the Christian author's studied intent to quote the O.T. as a central part of his argument. The authority of a Scriptural passage cited by a Christian writer did not, of course, depend upon the presence of an introductory formula; but in almost every instance where the formula is used the question of Scriptural authority is regarded by the author as important.

Such formulas were in current use by both the rabbis and the unknown writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls; and N.T. practice must be weighed against that fact. As much as possible the Christian authors retained the usage of their earlier counterparts. Parallels between Christian and Jewish expressions are to be expected and are indeed found. JEWS AND CHRISTIANS ALIKE ARE CONVINCED THAT EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE HUMAN INSTRUMENTS AS AUTHORS, IT IS REALLY GOD [THE GOD OF JEWS. THE GOD OF CHRISTIANS. SAME GOD? DEPENDS!] WHO SPEAKS IN SCRIPTURE...." [66-67].

"Although there is a great variety of different FORMULAS used in rabbinical writings and also at Qumran [Dead Sea Scrolls], the variations in form are far more numerous in the N.T." [68].

"The wording of the FORMULAS reveals some of the presuppositions that underlie the N.T. use of Scripture. The majority of them strongly imply, even if they do not directly affirm, the divine origin and the resulting authority of Scripture. But the formulas also suggest some of the ways in which the Christians made use of the O.T. for their own purposes...." [69].

PAGE 1512

"Since there is a large measure of preciseness about the formula-quotations, it is profitable to study their origins. Again we discover that there are notable differences among the various N.T. writers as to which O.T. books are utilized most often. MATTHEW, with his interest in law, has 18 quotations from the Law. He has also 8 from Isaiah, and 2 from Jeremiah, 8 from the Minor Prophets, 6 from Psalms, and no other. In MARK we find 6 citations of the Law, 3 of Isaiah, 1 of Jeremiah, 2 of the Minor Prophets and 2 of Psalms. LUKE contains 8 quotations from the Law, 4 from Isaiah, 1 from Jeremiah, 1 from the Twelve, and 4 from Psalms. JOHN has only 1 citation of the Law, 4 of Isaiah, 2 of Zechariah, and 6 of Psalms. Thus, in the FOUR GOSPELS as a whole we find that out of a total of 87 class-one quotations 33 are taken from the Law; 19 from Isaiah and 4 from Jeremiah; 13 from the Minor Prophets; and 18 from Psalms." [70-71]. [See 1522, for perspectives].

"The citations of the third class are by their nature much more numerous and total 1,167. Almost 30 percent of these are drawn from the Law. The Major Prophets provide 24 percent, and 10 percent more come from the Minor Prophets. Psalms contributes an additional 18 percent. Thus, 82 percent of class-three material is taken from 21 O.T. books, and 18 percent is drawn from 18 more books.


The Law ["sometimes used to include all the O.T."; "in Jewish usage specifically the first five books, containing the Mosaic Law." (Harper's Bible Dict., 1973, 382) [if you desire to annoy yourself--further, see: Dict. Bible, Mckenzie, 1965, 495-501]]

is cited in 342 of these instances, amounting to more than 20 percent of the whole. The three Major Prophets provide 405 of the citations, 25 percent of the total. The twelve Minor Prophets provide 142 citations, another 9 percent. The 311 uses of Psalms are 19 percent of the passages under study. These 21 O.T. books furnish 81 percent of all the direct citations, and 19 percent are derived from the remainder. No O.T. book is completely ignored, and the use of the O.T. is especially widespread in class three [see 1511]. On the other hand, the great preponderance of borrowings from the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms can be clearly seen." [72].

PAGE 1513

"Epilogue" ["180"]

"The Uniqueness of Christianity

Finally, we are brought to a consideration of the uniqueness ["of the" plagiarism] of Christianity. The multitudinous instances in which N.T. writers have appropriated O.T. verses, most of the time without any formal acknowledgement of their indebtedness, point to the fact that Christian origins lie deeply embedded in Judaism. It is unthinkable that the Christian Bible should not contain the O.T. Yet Christianity is distinct from Judaism, and the Testaments are distinguished in Christian terminology by the judgmental adjectives "Old" and "New." Part of the distinctiveness of Christianity is centered in the principles by which N.T. authors chose not to cite some parts of the O.T. while deciding to make use of others. Most of all, however, the N.T. emphasizes, both openly and implicitly, the fact that in Jesus Christ [a Fictional character!] all parts of the O.T. have been fulfilled. The uniqueness of Christianity is found not in the proclamation of completely new truth but in the full revelation of that truth which is imperfectly perceived in the O.T." [theological claptrap! one-upmanship! (see books by Stephen Potter)]. [182] [End of Epilogue].

[Note: following, are samples, from the "Tables", and "Bible Passages Index". Quotation marks are omitted].

Tables [183-206]

Table 1

N.T. Fulfillment of the O.T.

Reference Quotation

1. Deut: 15:4 There will be no poor among you.
Acts 4:34 There was not a needy person among them. [183].

Table 2
Apparent N.T. Contradictions of the O.T.
Reference Quotation

1. Ex. 23:7 I will not acquit the wicked.
Prov. 17:15 He who justifies the wicked [is] abomination to the Lord.
Rom: 4.5 ...trusts him who justifies the ungodly. [183-184].


PAGE 1514

Table 3
Some Phrases that Occur in Both Testaments

   I. General Phrases O.T. N.T.

1. in the beginning Gen. 1:1 Jn. 1:1     [184].
Table 4
Some N.T. Uses of LXX Passages that Differ
Significantly from the Hebrew
Classes of Citations:
(1) Acknowledged quotations preceded by a formula
(2) Unacknowledged quotations, without a formula
(3) Identifiable citations or allusions, but with some rewording
O.T. N.T. Class
1. Gen. 12:7 Gal. 3:16 (1) [189].

Table 5
O.T. Parallels (Other than Psalms) to Teachings of Jesus
Classes of Citations:
(1) Acknowledged quotations preceded by a formula
(2) Unacknowledged quotations, without a formula
(3) Identifiable citations or allusions, but with some rewording
I. Mark, with Parallels in Matthew and/or Luke
Class Mark N.T. O.T. Subject
(3) Mk: 1:17 = Mt. 4:19; Lk. 5:10 2 Kings 6:19; Jer. 16:16 fishers of men

PAGE 1515


Table 6
The O.T. and Narratives of the N.T.
I. Stories about Jesus A.
A. Birth N.T. O.T.
1. return from Egypt Mt. 2:20 Ex. 4:19 [197].
B. Ministry
1. baptism
  a. heaven opened Mt. 3:16; Mk. 1:10; Lk. 3.21 Ezek. 1:1 [197].
C. The passion....  
  4. thirty pieces of silver      Mt. 26:15; 27:3 Ezek. 21:32;
12. crucified with robbers Mt. 27:38; Mk. 15:27;
   Lk. 23:33; Jn. 19:18
Is. 53:12
13. darkness at noon Mt. 15:33 = Mt. 27:45;
   Lk. 23:44
Ex. 10:21;
  Amos 8:9....
15. the dead raised Mt. 27:52-53 Is. 26:18;
   Ezek. 37:12....
[198, 199].
II. Other Stories....
5. Paul
     a. conversion Acts 9:7 Deut. 4:12; Dan. 10:7
     b. escape Acts 9:25 Josh. 2:15.... [199].
Table 7
N.T. Ethical Teaching and The O.T.
Subject N.T. O.T.
1. the evil present Mt. 17:17; Acts 2:40; Deut. 32:5, 20
Phil. 2:15 [199].


PAGE 1516


Table 8
The N.T. Explained by the O.T.
Subject N.T. O.T.
1. show to the priest Mk. 1:44 = Mt. 8:4;
Lk. 5:14; 17:14
Lev. 13:49; 14.2

Table 9
Phrases Found in Psalms and in the N.T.
Phrase Psalms N.T.
1. the kings of the earth Ps. 2:2; 48:4 (LXX);
89:27; 102:15; 138:4
Acts 4:26; Rev. 6:15;
17:2, 18; 19:19;
21:24         [202].

Table 10
Phrases Found in Psalms and Other
O.T. Books and in the N.T.
Phrase Psalms and Other O.T.
1. the law of the Lord Ps. 1:2; 19:7; 119:1;
Is. 5:24 et al.
Lk. 2:39

Table 11
The Words of Jesus and the Psalms
  N.T. Psalms O.T. Background
....2. Mt. 5:33 Ps. 50:14 Lev. 19:12; Num. 30:2;
Deut. 23:21



PAGE 1517

Bible Passages Index [215-251 (end of book)]

I. Old Testament [with N.T. Parallels]


29, 89, 90
    -Mt. 19:4; Mk. 10:6 -Lk. 1:72 [215].

II. New Testament[with O.T. Parallels]


26, 59, 67, 82-83
Is. 7:14


-Gen. 22:2; Ps. 2:7;
Is. 42:1.


18, 151


Additional References

How Came the Bible?, Edgar J. Goodspeed [1871 - 1962], Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, c1940. [Superb (and, easy reading)].

A History of Early Christian Literature, Edgar J. Goodspeed, U. Chicago, 1942.

[my copy, has a typed (not by a Secretary) personal letter ("551 Perugia Way Bel-Air Los Angeles 24 [address is raised red print]" "Jan 30 1946 Dear Professor ["Massey"] Shepherd....Sincerely yours" (signed (erratically) with ink: "Edgar J. Goodspeed")), by Edgar J. Goodspeed].

Problems of New Testament Translation, Edgar J. Goodspeed, U. Chicago, 1945.

NIV Pictorial Bible, New International Version, Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1981 (copyrights to 1970). [See pages: 4-7, 12-24, etc. (see especially: "How Our Bible Came To Us" (helpful graphics), 6-7)].

PAGE 1518

from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 1997.

"'Stephanus' (Estienne). A family of scholar-printers who worked at *Paris and "Geneva in the 16th and 17th cents.

Henri [I] Estienne (d. 1520), principal printer and publisher to Jacobus *Faber and his circle.

Robert [I] Estienne (1503-59), Printer to Francis I. He is famous chiefly for his editions of the Scriptures and for his Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, first published in 1532, and for long a standard work. In his Latin Bibles, of which those of 1528, 1532, and 1540 are of special importance, he tried to follow as closely as possible the original text of St *Jerome. Of his editions of the Hebrew OT the chief are those of 1538 and 1544-6. In 1544 he began to print Greek, first using the famous Garamond type in his editio princeps of *Eusebius' Historia Ecclesiastica. Among his later editions of the Fathers is that of *Justin Martyr (1551). His most important edition of the Greek NT is that of 1550. It was the earliest to contain a critical apparatus, and its text is almost identical with the '*TEXTUS RECEPTUS' (q.v.). His annotations to his Bibles provoked severe attacks from the *Sorbonne, which led him to move to Geneva in 1551 where he became a *Calvinist. IN HIS NT [NEW TESTAMENT], PUBLISHED AT GENEVA IN THE SAME YEAR [1551], HE INTRODUCED THE DIVISION INTO VERSES ARRANGED BY HIMSELF, WHICH IS STILL USED TODAY. He subsequently published many of J. Calvin's works." [1540].

from: Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Sir Frederic Kenyon, Revised by A.W. Adams, Dean of Divinity of Magdalen College Oxford, Introduction by G.R. Driver, Fellow of Magdalen College and Professor of Semitic Philology, Oxford, Harper & Brothers, 1958 (1895).

"The Received Text

The great printer-editor, Robert Estienne, or Stephanus, of Paris (sometimes Anglicized as Stephens, without ground), issued several editions of the Greek New Testament, based mainly on the later editions of Erasmus, the first appearing in 1546. The third edition, published in folio in 1550, was the first Greek Testament to contain a critical apparatus, for which fifteen manuscripts, most of them comparatively late, were used. Shortly afterwards Estienne was forced to retire to Geneva on account of his Protestantism, and from there issued in 1557 [1551 (see above, and 1521)] the first edition to contain the modern verse divisions (the chapter divisions were the work of Archbishop Stephen Langton). Estienne's third edition is substantially the 'received text' which has appeared in all our ordinary copies of the Greek Testament in England until recently. On the Continent, the 'received text' has been that of the Elzevir edition of 1624 (though it is the second edition of 1633 which coined the phrase 'TEXTUS RECEPTUS'). This differs very slightly from that of Stephanus, being in fact a revision of the latter with the assistance of the texts published in 1565-1605 by the great French Protestant scholar Beza." [161].

PAGE 1519

"For us at the present day the principal result of the labours of the Paris doctors is the division of our Bible into chapters. Divisions of both Old and New Testaments into sections of various sizes existed from very early times; but our modern chapter-division was the work of Stephen Langton, then a doctor of the University of Paris, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the barons in the struggle which gave birth to Magna Charta. The texts of these Parisian Bibles are not, it must be admitted, of any very remarkable excellence; but they are very important in the history of the Vulgate, because it is virtually upon them that the printed text of the Bible of the Roman Church is based to this day." [261-262].

"the New Testament of W. Whittingham, brother-in-law of Calvin's wife and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford,...was printed in 1557 in a convenient small octavo form; but this was soon superseded by a more comprehensive and complete revision of the whole Bible by Whittingham himself and a group of other scholars. Taking for their basis the Great Bible in the Old Testament, and Tyndale's last revision in the New, they revised the whole with much care and scholarship....The division of chapters into verses, which had been introduced by Whittingham from Stephanus' Graeco-Latin New Testament of 1551, was here for the first time adopted for the whole English Bible. In all previous translations the division had been into paragraphs, as in our present Revised Version. For the Old Testament, the verse division was that made by Rabbi Nathan in 1448, which was first printed in a Venice edition of 1524, and was adopted by Pagninus in a Latin Bible in 1528, with a different division in the New Testament.


from: The Ancestry of Our English Bible, An Account of Manuscripts, Texts, and Versions of the Bible, Ira Maurice Price, Late Professor of the Semitic Languages and Literatures in the University of Chicago, Third Revised Edition, William A. Irwin, Allen P. Wikgren, Professors in the University of Chicago, Harper & Brothers, 1956 (c1906).

"The Hebrew Bible of today is divided into chapters and verses. This CHAPTER DIVISION had its origin in the Vulgate and is accredited to Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died 1089; to Stephen Langton, who died 1228; and to Hugo de Sancto Caro in the thirteenth century. The divisions began to be used in the Hebrew Bible in the thirteenth century, but the first edition to introduce the CHAPTER NUMBERS into the text was that of Arius Montanus in 1571, a Hebrew Bible with Latin interlinear translation. The first purely Hebrew Bible so printed appeared in 1573-74; VERSE NUMBERS began with the Athias Hebrew Bible of 1559-61."


PAGE 1520


"The most important contribution to the form of our Bible that sprang out of the Paris activity was the formal division of the Bible into chapters. Paragraph and section divisions had already existed for centuries. But Stephen Langton, a doctor in the University of Paris, and later Archbishop of Canterbury, probably made the divisions of our Bible known as chapters, about A.D. 1228." [185].

'The famous scholar and printer, Robert Stephanus (Estienne), of Paris, also published several editions of the Greek New Testament, beginning in 1546. His text was based on Erasmus (1535), the Complutensian Polyglot, and eventually fifteen manuscripts in the Paris Library. The third edition (1550), the superb Paris folio known as the "editio regia," became the standard text of Britain [see 1519]. The fourth (1551) is notable for the first appearance of the


from: The Bible in the Making, Geddes MacGregor, Lippincott, 1959.

"The division of the Bible into passages of varying length had for long been customary. But the now familiar chapter division was devised by Stephen Langton, a Sorbonne doctor who became, in 1206, a cardinal and, in 1207, Archbishop of Canterbury. He took a leading part in the movement that led to Magna Charta. THE DIVISION INTO CHAPTERS, AS HE ARRANGED IT, WAS ARBITRARY BUT CONVENIENT IN ITS WAY." [103].


from: The Cambridge History of the Bible, 3 Volumes, Volume 3, The West from the Reformation to the Present Day, Edited by S.L. Greenslade, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford, Cambridge, 1963.

"In 1550 Estienne [Robert Estienne 1503 - 1559] left Paris, driven to leave his home and a place of honour in his trade by the troubles which the Faculties of Louvain and Paris had caused him on account of his editions of the Vulgate. In 1551 he [Estienne] printed a 16mo Greek-Latin New Testament with the VERSES NUMBERED AND DIVIDED. In the next year he produced a French-Latin octavo New Testament on the same plan. IN 1553 he [ESTIENNE] PRINTED A FOLIO FRENCH BIBLE WHICH IS THE FIRST BIBLE TO USE HIS VERSE-DIVISION THROUGHOUT." [442].

PAGE 1521

TOTAL VERSES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: 7,947 (The Text of the New Testament, Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, 1987, 29). This reference, thanks to "Islamic Awareness":, page 5 of 12, where the "Table showing the total number of variant free verses [and total number of verses] in the books of the New Testament....", is reproduced.

TOTAL VERSES IN THE BIBLE (OLD TESTAMENT PLUS NEW TESTAMENT): 31, 173 ( [The New Testament is approximately 1/3 the size (verses, and, pages) of the Old Testament].

Of course, these totals depend on the versions evaluated.

from: The Essene-Christian Faith, A Study in the Sources of Western Religion, Martin A. Larson, Philosophical Library, 1980.

"According to what is known as the Marcan Hypothesis, almost all of the canonical Mark is reproduced in Matthew and Luke, which also copy from another document, now lost, known as The Source, The Quelle, or the Sayings of Jesus.4 That Mark is the primary document is shown by the fact, first, that the order of events established there [Mark] is followed for the most part in the other two Synoptics ["Matthew and Luke"], although these vary from each other; second, that these ["Matthew and Luke"] reproduce hundreds of passages literally or almost verbatim; and, third, that the parallels in each to the earlier Gospel [Mark] are much closer than are their similarities to each other." [176-177].

"Total and Parallel Verses in the Gospels
                                    Parallels in                                    
Total Verses Matthew Mark Luke John
Verses with No Parallels
Matthew 1071   645 632 171 172
Mark 678 645   547 179 6
Luke 1151 632 547   122 476
John 879 171 170 168   704

Note that only 6 verses in Mark are without parallels in any other Gospel; that of its 678 verses, 645 reappear in Matthew and 547 in Luke. Note also that Luke has 476 verses which are without parallels (these are--for the most part--deeply flavored with Essene ideology). Very significant is the fact that of the 879 verses in John, 704 are without parallels in the Synoptics [Synoptic Gospels = Matthew, Mark, Luke]...." [177]. [For parallels, see: #3, 47, 222.; #7, 183; #17, 362; Appendix II, 709; Appendix III, 713]. [See: 1513]. [from: Addition 31, 1375-1376].


PAGE 1522


from: A Rationalist Encyclopaedia, A Book of Reference on Religion, Philosophy, Ethics, and Science, Joseph McCabe [1867 - 1955], Watts, 1950 (1948).

'EPICURUS (341-270 B.C.), Greek philosopher. He was born at Samos, off the coast of Asia Minor, and is thus linked from the first with the Ionic School, the teaching of which he expanded and improved; but he spent most of his life, after eighteen, at Athens. There he opened a school to which men came from all parts of Greece and the colonies. Of the 300 works which he wrote (he seems to have had a remarkable range of knowledge), only fragments survive, and it has therefore been possible to libel him in all ages. His contemporary in Athens, Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, is said to have begun the practice ["libel"] [see 1530 (DeWitt)], though it is noteworthy that the Stoic, Seneca, calls his teaching "a holy and proper doctrine." Augustine called it, almost [?] brutally and quite falsely, "a philosophy of swine," and until the seventeenth century that characterization was universally admitted, and is familiar in religious and general literature to-day. The ancient authorities are agreed that Epicurus was a man of very simple and temperate life, providing cakes and water for his guests--a little wine and cheese on festivals--and that these included, against Athenian custom, women and slaves. What he seems to have chiefly learned from Asia Minor is the Lydian [see] doctrine of friendliness to all. Even the more refined charge ["libel"], that he recommended a tranquil and passionless individual life instead of social idealism, cannot be sustained. Benn says this, and then quotes his words: "Vain is the discourse of that philosopher by whom no human suffering is healed." Ueberweg repeats the libel in his History of Philosophy (1875, I, 211), yet quotes (from Plutarch) his saying: "It is more pleasant to do than to receive good." Equally false is the statement that Zeno stood for virtue--his code of sex-morals was far from Pauline--and Epicurus for pleasure. What we may say is that public life had sunk so low in Athens, at the time, that Epicurus advised his friends to avoid it; but in a better age, as we shall see, his teaching had a remarkably beneficent social influence. Though apparently a master of such science as existed, and important as the author who transmitted this science to Lucretius and posterity, he [Epicurus] considered it of value only as an antidote to superstition. He is said to have admitted gods in some remote region, who were quite indifferent to man's affairs, but this was probably his way of evading a clash with the ignorant people. All that we know of his system suggests that he [Epicurus] was an Atheist and Materialist, like Zeno. (See C. Bailey's Epicurus, a translation of the biographical sketch of the philosopher by Diogenes Laertius and of the extant fragments of his writings and letters, 1926.)

PAGE 1523


The schools of Plato [c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.] and Aristotle [384 - 322 B.C.E.] had never had a wide following and had left Greek philosophy [see] under the control of the Sceptics. (See Benn, History of Ancient Philosophy, 1912, p. 107, Ueberweg, History of Philosophy, I, 211, Zeller, and all authorities.) After the death of Zeno the Stoic school itself broke, under pressure of the Sceptics and the Epicureans, into a right or religious wing (a small minority) and a left or humanist wing. The Ionian school, which had so far been faithfully developed and now took the form of Epicureanism, was more fortunate. R.D. Hicks (Stoic and Epicurean, 1910) says that no other school--he overlooks the Confucians--was ever so united. It "outlived most others" (Zeller) and, alone or in combination with the new Stoicism, was the great inspiration of the Greek-Roman world in its best days. Though a fresh and complete study is very desirable, it is now generally agreed that this Epicureanism, which the cruder critics call a philosophy of swine, and the more refined a purely individualist creed, [Epicureanism] proved a notable inspiration of social idealism in the Roman Empire [see]. Ueberweg, who endorses the latter criticism, goes on to say (I, 211( that it "aided in softening down the asperity and exclusiveness of ancient manners and in cultivating the social virtues," and that it "performed a work whose merit should not be underestimated." Dr. J. Oaksmith admirably describes THE BLENDING OF EPICUREANISM AND A STOICISM purged of mystic elements FROM 250 B.C. ONWARD, and quotes with approval Seneca's praise of "the noble and humane simplicity of the Epicurean ideal of life" and its efficacy (The Religion of Plutarch, 1902, p. 39). When Prof. Gilbert Murray says that "all the principal kings in existence in the generations following Zeno professed themselves Stoics" (The Stoic Philosophy, 1915, p. 41) it must be understood in this sense. Of the two finest series of monarchs, judged by their contribution to civilization, the Ptolemies of Alexandria might be described as Epicureans, but were assuredly not Stoics; and of the Antonine or so-called Stoic Emperors of Rome, the second series, only Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic, while the greatest, Hadrian [see], actively promoted the philosophy of Epicurus.' [189-190] [End of entry].

'PHILO [of Alexandria], Judaeus ("the Jew," about 15 B.C. to A.D. 40), philosopher. Son of a rich farmer of the taxes in Egypt who made a thorough study of Greek literature and philosophy and is the most distinguished Jewish writer and scholar of the age. He [Philo] was most attracted to Pythagoras, Plato, and the more religious of the Stoics, and he blended their ideas with a very liberal or symbolical interpretation of Hebrew theology. God is little more than an abstract idea in his works, and there are innumerable spiritual beings between him and the world, which was not created but formed from eternal (and essentially evil) matter. His [Philo's] ideas are of value as a witness to the synthesis of mystic ideas (Pythagorean, Platonist, Persian, liberal Jewish, etc.) which was then common, and out of which Christianity, Gnosticism, and Neo-Platonism [see 1540] developed.' [450]

[End of entry].

PAGE 1524


from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 1997 (1957).

"Epicureanism. The system of philosophical ethics founded by the Greek thinker Epicurus (342-270 BC). Epicurus held that the senses, as the one and only source of all our ideas, provided the sole criterion of all truth. On this basis he reasserted the materialistic atomism of Democritus [c. 460 - c. 370 B.C.E.] and denied immortality. He did not reject the existence of gods, but refused to conceded their inference in human affairs. The goal of human conduct he sought in pleasure, which he equated with freedom from pain and from fear. During and after his lifetime his doctrines proved very attractive. Among later Epicureans were Apollodorus, Zeno of Sidon, and (the most famous) the Roman Lucretius. IN THE NT, EPICUREANS ARE REFERRED TO IN ACTS 17: 18 [see below]. Fragments of many of Epicurus' writings have been recovered from the charred papyri of Herculaneum. [Bibliography follows]

....N.W. DeWitt, Epicurus and his Philosophy (Minneapolis, 1954 [University of Minnesota, 1954])...." [553].

[Note: not listed: N.W. DeWitt, St. Paul and Epicurus (see 1542)].


from: The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Oxford, 1973 (c1962).

"Acts 17"

'[verse 18] Some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers met him. And some said, "What would this babbler say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"--because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.' [1344].

[footnote] "17.16-34: Paul at Athens. The apostle [Paul] is portrayed as the first Christian philosopher, using Stoic and Jewish arguments." [1344].


PAGE 1525


from: American Journal of Philology, Founded by B.L. Gildersleeve [see Addition 26, 1188], Volume LXXVII, Johns Hopkins Press, 1956. [Note: Norman Wentworth DeWitt, was President of the American Philology Society, 1939 - ? ].


Norman W. DeWittt. Epicurus and his Philosophy [see 1528-1535]. Minneapolis, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1954. Pp. 388. $6.00." [75]. [This sophisticated review extends to page 84. Perusing, recommended].

'The last two chapters [of "Epicurus and his Philosophy"], The New Virtues, and Extension, Submergence, and Revival, are too suggestive and wide-ranging for summary here. Neither do I think it would be specially profitable to raise questions about some of the "Epicurean virtues"--that sect would sometimes seem to have them all and indeed something of a monopoly--nor to quibble over specific proposals of Epicurean influence in, say, the New Testament or to query Julius Caesar's partiality to Epicureanism , or the like. These chapters illustrate fairly well the book's virtues and drawbacks. The suggestions are stimulating, the material is well covered, the texts are dealt with honestly, and the right points are brought up. On the other hand, there is a good deal of "special pleading," sources seem to be praised or damned as they support or weaken DeWitt's theses, and in general I feel that he over-confidently reconstructs with apostolic fervor a whole philosophical system with precision and detail out of what is, after all, quite meager and very often debatable evidence [my guess: this criticism has significant value].

J.P. Elder.

Harvard University.' [84] [End of Review].

PAGE 1526

from: The Journal of Philosophy, Volume LIII, January--December, 1956.

"Book Reviews"

'Epicurus and His Philosophy [see 1528-1535]. Norman Wentworth DeWitt. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press [1954]. 388 pp. $6.00.

Norman Wentworth DeWitt, Professor of Latin Emeritus in Victoria College, the University of Toronto, has written this careful study of Epicurus with three main aims: [1] to offer a consequential biographical sketch of the life of Epicurus; [2] to present a new and challenging interpretation of his teachings, based on a rejection of Usener's emendations; and [3] to display Epicureanism as "a bridge of transition from the classical philosophies of Greece to the Christian religion." It is doubtful whether he has succeeded in the first aim. It is still more doubtful whether many classical or Biblical scholars will be impressed by his excessive claims on the third point. But there is little doubt that he has achieved his second aim: he has reëxamined and reinterpreted the texts of Epicurus in such a suggestive fashion that all subsequent study of Epicurus in and Epicureanism will have to take his book into account....' [201].

'Mr. DeWitt has a few extraordinary remarks on Aristotle, such as that his universe had a "bottom." But on the whole his analysis of the texts of Epicurus is accurate, stimulating, suggestive, and fresh and first-hand. Like all enthusiastic students of a single philosophical figure, he tends to lose his perspective because of a lack of equal [? (ideal, but there are limitations of time, abilities, resources, etc.)] familiarity with other and contemporary philosophical alternatives [see 1539 (other books by Norman DeWitt)].

J.H. Randall, Jr.

Columbia University' [202] [End of Review].

PAGE 1527


from: Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] and His Philosophy, Norman Wentworth DeWitt, Victoria College, University of Toronto, University of Minnesota Press, c1954.

[Extensive, brief "Notes" (except, disappointingly, no "Notes" for Chapter 1)].


The aim of this study is threefold: first, to organize the surviving data on the life of Epicurus into a consequential biographical sketch so as to throw some light upon the growth of his personality and the development of his philosophy; second, to present a new interpretation of his doctrines based upon less emended remains of his writings; and third, to win attention for the importance of Epicureanism as a bridge of transition from the classical philosophies of Greece to the Christian religion. This new approach requires a total rearrangement of the pertinent materials, the rectification of grave oversights, and the exposure of time-honored fallacies, even of the fond beliefs that Epicurus declared all sensations to be trustworthy and identified pleasure with the greatest good.

The slanders and fallacies of a long and unfriendly tradition have been enjoying modern sanction ever since Eduard Zeller expounded them with seeming reasonableness and undeniable tidiness a century ago in his Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics....

In England the ignominy to which Epicureanism had been relegated by Puritanism after flourishing briefly under the Restoration....

It was in Italy that new ground was first broken. This was the good fortune of Ettore Bignone, who in 1936 began to set the account straight in respect of the life of Epicurus and the development of his doctrine in his L'Aristotele perduto e la formazione filosofica di Epicuro.

The present study, even if more inclusive than others and based upon less emended sources, is offered with no fond hope of having achieved finality. The feat of rescuing Epicurus from the injustice of centuries will not be accomplished at a blow nor by the efforts of any single researcher. To have made a breach in the wall of false opinion will seem to have been a sufficient advance." ["i"-"ii"].

PAGE 1528


"I A Synoptic View of Epicureanism"

"True Opinions: False Opinions

In the succession of philosophers the place of Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] is immediately after Plato [c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.] and Pyrrho [c. 360 - c. 270 B.C.E.] the skeptic. Platonism and skepticism were among his chief abominations. The false opinion is to think him opposed to Stoicism. The traditional order of mention, Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics, is the exact reverse of the chronological succession [Skeptics, Epicureans, Stoics]. The philosophy of Epicurus was an immediate reaction to the skepticism of Pyrrho and it was offered to the public as a fully developed system before Zeno [Zeno of Citium c. 335 - c. 263 B.C.E.] the founder of Stoicism even began to teach.

Epicurus was an erudite man and a trained thinker. He made the rounds of the contemporary schools, Platonic, Peripatetic, and Democritean, and he devoted several years to reading and study before offering himself as a teacher. The false opinion is to think him an ignoramus and an enemy of all culture.

Historians persist in judging him only as a philosopher, but to be rightly understood he must be recognized also as a moral reformer. The fallacy consists in damning him as an ingrate and in failing to discern that reformers are rebels and as rebels feel themselves absolved from debts of gratitude [?].

As a man of science Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] returned to the tradition of the Ionian thinkers, which had been interrupted by Socrates [c. 470 - 399 B.C.E.] and Plato [c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.]. The chief positive influence on his thinking was Ionian, the chief negative influence Platonic. The error in this instance consists in the failure to recognize Epicurus as an Antiplatonist and a penetrating critic of Platonism.

As a philosopher Epicurus belongs in the class of thinkers who have attempted a synthesis of philosophical thought, and his modern analogues are Herbert Spencer [1820 - 1903] and Auguste Comte [1798 - 1857]. He [Epicurus] surveyed the whole field of previous thought and either wrote critiques of his predecessors himself or delegated the task to his colleagues. This aspect of the activity of his school has been completely overlooked." [6-7].

"EPICUREANISM WAS THE FIRST MISSIONARY PHILOSOPHY. The mistake is to look upon Epicurus as an effeminate and a moral invalid; by disposition he was combative and by natural gifts a leader, organizer, and campaigner.

Epicureanism was the first world philosophy, being acceptable to both Greek and barbarian. The mistake is to think Epicurus as an egoistic hedonist, ruled solely by self-interest. He was an altruistic hedonist.

Epicureanism served in the ancient world as a preparation for Christianity, helping to bridge the gap between Greek intellectualism and a religious way of life. It shunted the emphasis from the political to the social virtues and offered what may be called a religion of humanity. The mistake is to overlook the terminology and ideology of Epicureanism in the New Testament and to think of its founder as an enemy of religion.

PAGE 1529


Epicureanism presented two fronts to the world, the one as repellent as the other was attractive. Its discouragement of the political career was repellent to the ambitious, its denial of divine providence to pious orthodoxy, and its hedonism to timorous respectability. Its candor, charity, courtesy, and friendliness were attractive to multitudes of the honest and unambitious folk.

The influence of Epicureanism, though anonymous, has been persistent in literature, ethics, and politics. In literature and ethics it has survived by amalgamation with Stoicism, chiefly through Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] and Marcus Aurelius [Emperor 161-180 (121-180)]. In politics it fathered the doctrine that the least government is the best government, which was espoused by John Locke [1632 - 1704] and popularized in North America by Thomas Jefferson [President 1801 - 1809 (1743 - 1826)]. All these aspects of influence have been overlooked because of the usual anonymity. It was the fate of Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] to be named if condemned, unnamed if approved." [8].

"It was...opposition to Platonism that chiefly determined the shape of Epicureanism; more than half of its forty Authorized Doctrines are flat contradictions of Platonism. It is the mistake of historians to oppose Epicurus to Stoics. This is an anachronism; it comes of throwing back into the lifetime of Epicurus a hostility that arose only after his death. The error is chiefly due to the writings of Cicero, who matches Epicureans and Stoics as if rival schools of gladiators.

Already in 311 B.C. Epicurus was offering a neatly integrated body of doctrine to the youth of Mytilene. At that date the founder of Stoicism, Zeno of Citium in Cyprus, was a new arrival in Athens about twenty-one years of age. In contrast to the precocious Epicurus he was a late beginner and a slow learner. Many years were to elapse before he began to address himself to the people of Athens in the Painted Porch [Stoa (see Addition 26, 1239-1241)]. The assumption of hostility between the two [Epicurus, and, Zeno] is unsupported even by a scrap of evidence. It was Chrysippus, the second founder of Stoicism, who began the feud and he was a mere lad of nine years living in his native Soli of Cilicia when Epicurus passed away. Stoicism is consequently to be written off absolutely as an influence in the life of Epicurus." [11].

'Plato was complicating philosophy for the few who find self-gratification in complexity. Epicurus was simplifying philosophy for the many who were willing to live by their philosophy. Platonic justice seemed to him [Epicurus] a specious pretense. In Vatican Collection 54 he [Epicurus] wrote: "We should not pretend to philosophize but philosophize honestly, because it is not the semblance of health we need but real health."' [23-24].

PAGE 1530


"The First Missionary Philosophy

Epicureanism was the first and only real missionary philosophy produced by the Greeks. So foreign was such a concept to the thought of the earlier philosophers and the sophists that they failed even to found schools in the sense that Plato's Academy became a school; much less did they found sects. As Epicurus rightly discerned, human institutions arise from the evolution of the unintended. Just as Nature, according to him, is the sole creatix [creatrix ("L. fem. of creator")] in the physical world, so Nature, working through the joint and cumulative experience of mankind, is the sole creatix [creatrix] in the social and political spheres. Language for example, was an innovation of Nature; men merely improved upon her beginnings. On this principle, it must be deemed incredible that Plato's conscious purpose was to found a school in perpetuity when he chose the Academy as his place of instruction; no model as yet existed. The lack of a model, according to Epicurus, would even have prevented the gods from creating a universe [clever!]." [26-27].

'Caesar Augustus [First Roman Emperor 27 B.C.E. - 14 C.E. (63 B.C.E. - 14 C.E.)], the founder of the Roman Empire, was the least robust of the men of his court and plagued by recurrent illnesses. Ill health is even capable of intensifying the tenacity of the invalid. It was so with Epicurus. In his own circle he was a master mind and alone of all the founders of schools he built up and dominated an organization for the dissemination of his creed. As Seneca said, "In that famous fellowship [apparently, Epicureanism] every word that was spoken was uttered under the guidance and auspices of a single individual [apparently, Epicurus]." The battle is not always to the strong. Inherent in Epicureanism was a quiet crusading spirit which quickly extended it over the contemporary world and endowed it with a tenacity unequaled by rival creeds; it flourished for almost seven centuries. The vogue of Stoicism as a militant creed lasted a mere two centuries.' [28-29].

'As a design for living Epicureanism is patently suggestive of modern hominism or humanism or pragmatism. It was centered in man and not in the state or in theology. The breadth of its humanity is well expressed by one of its later devotees, who wrote "that the whole earth is just one country, the native land of all, and the whole world is just one household." The most potent single sentiment in the development of modern social theory is Epicurean as well as Menandrian [Menander 342 - 292 B.C.E. ("Athenian dramatist. Student of Theophrastus and friend of Epicurus" (Webster's Bio. Dict.))]: Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto. This sentence has suffered a variety of English translations, but the substance is, "I am a man; I deem nothing that concerns mankind to be a matter of indifference to me [see Addition 26, 1240 (Terence)]."' [30].

PAGE 1531


'Preparation for Christianity

By virtue of its spirit, its procedures, and certain of its doctrines Epicureanism served as a preparation for Christianity in the Graeco-Roman world. The similarity between the one and the other has long been evident to friend and foe. To the scornful Nietzsche [see 1609] the teaching of Epicurus seemed to be "A PRE-EXISTING CHRISTIANITY," because in his judgment both creeds had been framed for the weak and timorous. To a sympathetic scholar it seemed "like the twilight between the beliefs that were passing away and that which rose on the world after his [apparently, Jesus] time."

The first missionary philosophy [Epicureanism] was a natural preparation for the first missionary religion [Christianism ("Christianity")]. The one [Epicureanism] had been detached from Greek politics and the other [Christianism] was to be detached from Jewish politics. Both creeds were framed for men of peace, militant only for the increase of human happiness. Both offered healing and comforting beliefs for both sexes and all ages of men. Both based their ethics on love and friendliness. The fellowship cultivated by the Epicureans was comparable to the communion of saints as fostered by the Christians. Both stressed the social virtues, mutual helpfulness, forbearance, and forgiveness. [?]

Epicurus distinguished clearly between the inner life and the external life of circumstance; these corresponded to the spiritual life and the worldly life in Christian thought. Both creeds [Epicureanism, and Christianism ("Christianity")] spoke of ignorance as darkness and knowledge as light. Both essayed to deprive death of its sting. Both spoke of the narrow way and warned of the deceitfulness of wealth, power, and glory.

The two sects were singular in taking their names from their leaders and in pledging loyalty to those leaders; both spoke of following in the steps of those leaders. Both rejected the conventional education and founded their own schools, providing new textbooks. The texts provided by the Epicureans anticipated the texts composed by the Christians. The biographies of the beloved Epicurus, whose life "compared with that of other men would be considered a myth," corresponded to the Gospels; he was revered as nothing short of a god; he was called savior. The affectionate memoirs of his colleagues were comparable to the Acts of the Apostles. The letters of Epicurus to various communities of friends were like the Epistles. Even in their style of writing the two literatures resembled each other, aiming only at clarity.

It should also be carried in mind that the adherents of both sects [Epicureans, and, Christians] belonged to the lower and middle classes of society; they practiced in common a voluntary sharing of goods; they were alike in holding their meetings in private houses and in having common meals at regular intervals; in the will of Epicurus provision was made for certain rites to be performed in memory of himself, which reminds us of the Eucharist. It would have been singularly easy for an Epicurean to become a Christian. [?]. [Unfortunately, no sources are given, for this Chapter (1)].

PAGE 1532


As a last word on this topic it may be mentioned that the custom prevailed among Epicureans of carrying about with them small images of their founder; they also had likenesses done in marble or painted on wooden panels to adorn their homes or lodgings. His [Epicurus] features are well known to this day from surviving portrait busts and exhibit an [a bearded] expression singularly Christlike. In this connection it is remarkable that the beardless [see #9, 225] Christ so often seen on Christian sarcophagi down to the fourth century gave way to the bearded [see #24, 512] form which is now TRADITIONAL. Since the two sects lived side by side for three [see 1534] centuries, it is by no means impossible that in this particular the practice of the one was a preparation for the practice of the other.' [31-32].

"The Two Fronts

Epicureanism presented two fronts to the world, the one repellent, the other attractive. Both the repulsion and the attraction were keenly experienced by St. Augustine, who declared that he would have awarded it ["Epicureanism"] the palm ["supreme honour", "prize", etc. (O.E.D.)] had it not been for the [eschatology of] denial of immortality and judgment after death. It was chiefly the ethical creed that attracted men, based upon love or friendship and all the kindly social virtues that make for peace and good companionship. It was chiefly the eschatology ["the branch of theology, or doctrines, dealing with death, resurrection, judgment, immortality, etc." (Webster's N.W. Dict.)] that offended, arousing in succession the hostility of Platonists, Stoics, and Christians." [32-33].

"Epicurus had essayed to deprive death of its sting by reconciling men to mortality; Paul would deprive death of its sting by holding out the assurance of immortality [see 1541].

Epicureanism was the prevailing creed among the Greek populations to which Paul addressed himself and, in harmony with his avowed practice of making himself all things to all men that he might save some, he here makes himself an Epicurean to Epicureans. He is shuffling the familiar components of that creed so as to erect a new matrix of meanings. It is just as if the older monument were being demolished in order to yield stones for the wall of the new edifice.

In rabbinical literature the name of Epicurus became a synonym for unbeliever and survives in this meaning...." [34].

PAGE 1533


"Epicurus rebelled against the highly regimented polity of Plato's Republic and the Laws and advocated instead a minimum of government. The function of government, he believed, was to guarantee the safety of the individual. This doctrine was anonymously revived by John Locke and espoused by Thomas Jefferson, who was an avowed Epicurean. It is consequently not surprising that Safety and Happiness, catchwords of Epicurus, should be named in the Declaration of Independence as the ends of government. Neither is it surprising that the same document should mention Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; these concepts also are Epicurean....

In the main stream of prose and poetry it [EPICUREANISM] OFTEN SURVIVES UNDER STOIC LABELS. In the terminology and thought of religion it survives in spite of the obliviousness of New Testament scholars. In politics it has been a dominant, though nameless, influence ever since the succession of modern philosophers was started by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke during the brief vogue of Epicureanism in the Restoration period. In North America the Epicurean doctrine that the least government is the best government was virtually made to order for the circumstances of the Revolution, even if not a single Jeffersonian democrat was ever aware of its origin." [35]. [End of Chapter 1 ("A Synoptic View of Epicureanism" (see 1529))].


"Chapter XV"

"The time has now come for surveying the fortunes of Epicureanism from the beginning down to the present day. If the synoptic view be first presented as a preparation for the details, it may be said that the creed [Epicureanism] flourished for the space of seven centuries, three before Christ and four afterward. At the outset it followed the then prevailing migrational trend to the eastward and established itself in the Graeco-Oriental world of Alexander and his successors. After the lapse of a century it followed the reverse trend to the westward and made the conquest of Italy, Rome, and Roman Africa. Thereafter it flourished over the greater part of the Graeco-Roman world for the space of four centuries. During the Middle Ages it survived as an evil name and was overlooked during the first centuries of the Renaissance. At long last it experienced a revival in France in the seventeenth century and enjoyed a brief vogue in England during the period of the Restoration. Its influence for the most part has been exerted anonymously.

To the synoptic view belong also the following items:

During the lifetime of Epicurus and his three colleagues the chief competitors and adversaries were the Platonists and Peripatetics.

During the last two centuries B.C. the chief competitors and adversaries were the Stoics.

With the death of Cicero in 43 B.C. the stage of controversy came to an end, and after the turn of the century [first century C.E.] the process of syncretism was accelerated. This was the work of Stoics, and the chief names are those of Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

Before the year A.D. 200 the Christians had come forward as the chief competitors and adversaries. This rivalry was the last. By the fifth century the Epicureans seem to have been absorbed into the Christian community." [328].

PAGE 1534


"When he ["Jesus" (Fictional character!)] speaks of gentiles he means Greeks. It is also difficult to believe that he failed to add some knowledge of their [Greek] tongue to his own Aramaic and Hebrew." [336]. [See: #5, 153].

"Epicureanism, on the contrary, was an integral part of a slow progression in society from Greek philosophy to Christianity. Plato's philosophy was for the talented few, the intellectual aristocrats; the doctrines of Epicurus appealed chiefly to the middle classes, the bourgeoisie; the teachings of Jesus were for the very poor, the lost sheep. Again, the ethics of Plato are tied in with his whole system of knowledge, including politics; the ethics of Epicurus are separated from politics and joined only with physics; the ethics of Jesus are isolated from both physics and politics and fitted into a developing scheme of salvation; this should be recognized as a new matrix of meanings, which we denominate as spiritual.

The vocabulary of the New Testament exhibits numerous similarities to that of Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.]..." [33].

"After the first century A.D. it becomes convenient to scan the evidences of Epicureanism in the Mediterranean countries as a unified cultural area. The development of the new Stoicism of Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], Epictetus [c. 55 - c. 135], and Marcus Aurelius [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] was local and affected only the West. The learned revival instituted by Plutarch [c. 46 - c. 120], though it must have continued since its memorials still survive, was confined to narrow circles. The collapse of Stoicism as a militant creed, which seems to have been as complete as it was rapid, left the arena to Christianity and the singularly tenacious Epicureanism. This was the last phase of the rivalry of the sects until Christians began to contend with one another in the struggle for orthodoxy." [349].

"....American political thought started with Locke and remained largely with Locke, who was the favored philosopher during the revolutionary period. The doctrine of the minimum of government was incorporated in the Constitution. It survived and still survives, though gravely questioned and threatened, as the system of free enterprise. As a matter of interest it may be added that its chief champion, Thomas Jefferson, was an avowed Epicurean and capable of reading the texts in the original [Greek].

As for classical scholars, their attitude toward Epicurus has been contemptuous in the main and their treatment perfunctory. In bibliographies his name runs a poor second to that of his alphabetical neighbor Epictetus. Since 1900 a slow increase of interest has become apparent and still persists, but many tedious investigations remain to be made if the misrepresentations of centuries are to be rectified. In particular the New Testament must be diligently studied anew for traces of the language and thought of Epicureanism, which in that day was flourishing both in Judaea and in the Greek cities where the apostles [propagandists--proselytizers] sought their converts. This background ["Epicureanism"] was helping to shape the new doctrine [Christianism ("Christianity")]." [357-358] [End of text].

PAGE 1535


from: The Dalhousie Review, A Canadian Quarterly of Literature and Opinion, Volume 35, Summer, 1955, Number 2.

[Book Review] "St. Paul and Epicurus [see 1542-1551]. By Norman Wentworth DeWitt. The Ryerson Press, Toronto 1954. Pp. 195 $4.00.

It has long [extent?] been recognized that Epicureanism had, on its ethical side, not a little in common with Christianity...." [192].

"Professor DeWitt rests his case on the large number of 'hidden parallelisms' he produces. Now, nearly ninety years ago Bishop Lightfoot [Joseph Barber Lightfoot 1829 - 1889] [superb scholar and Christian apologist] examined the very striking parallels between the writings of Seneca [see 1568-1572] and the New Testament. He concluded, 'The proverbial suspicion which attaches to statistics ought to be extended to coincidences of language, for they may be, and often are, equally fallacious.' He [Bishop Lightfoot] might well have added,--'especially where moral instruction is concerned'....

[Note: important caveats] K.M. Hamilton." [194].

PAGE 1536

from: The Classical Journal, Volume 51, 1955.

[Book Review] 'St. Paul and Epicurus [see 1542-1551]. By Norman Wentworth DeWitt. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1954. Pp. vii, 201. $4.00.

The present volume, a sequel to the author's Epicurus and His Philosophy [see 1528-1535] (Minneapolis, 1954), rejecting the usual associations between Paul and Stoicism, aims "to spot the unacknowledged adaptations of Epicurean teachings in the writings of Paul" and attempts to offer "more precise translations and occasionally for the first time correct translations." ([page] vi [St. Paul and Epicurus]).

Undoubtedly a person as well educated as St. Paul would be acquainted with the tenets of competing and contemporary philosophies--both Epicurean and Stoic, and would refer to their teachings in his writings. Also phraseology and argumentation similar to that of Epicureanism might be expected from St. Paul, who admits "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (cf. 1 Cor. 9:20-23 [commonly, arrogant, stupid, propagandistic, verses, are quoted, as major (hopefully, decisive) arguments]). But in the opinion of the reviewer Professor DeWitt, who is no doubt a leading scholar on Epicurus and his followers and who has made an excellent contribution in his previous volume [Epicurus and His Philosophy] and articles on Epicureanism, has been carried away by his enthusiasm to exaggerate the relationship between Paul and Epicurus in a number of instances, omitting relevant evidence which does not harmonize with his main thesis....

The author knows Epicurus, but does not demonstrate a similar comprehension of the New Testament [?].'

"Robert G. Hoerber

Westminster (Mo.) College" [134, 136].

[Note: Robert G. Hoerber, appears to be a Christian writer].

PAGE 1537


from: The Phoenix, The Journal of the Classical Association of Canada, Volume IX, 1955.

[Book Review] 'St. Paul and Epicurus [see 1542-1551]. By N.W. DeWitt. Toronto: Ryerson Press. 1954. Pp. vii, 201. ($4.00)

Classical scholars who have ventured into the field of New Testament studies have frequently made contributions of the highest value, and no one could be more eager than the present reviewer to see the old and fruitful alliance between workers in these two areas renewed [if, supportive (LS)]. It is with the greatest disappointment, therefore, that he ["present reviewer" (F.W. Beare)] must report that this book of Professor DeWitt's cannot be taken seriously. DeWitt finds traces of Epicurus all over the place in the writings of St. Paul; even such a word as "peace," which clearly belongs to the Apostle's inheritance from the Old Testament, is treated as drawn from the Epicurean vocabulary....

Certainly, he [N.W. DeWitt] has not established a single clear case of words or ideas borrowed from Epicureanism or shaped in controversy with that school; the only one that has a semblance of plausibility is that the Apostle's use of "the expedient"...[2 Greek words] in the sense of "that which promotes the good of one's neighbour" is akin to the usage of Epicurus.

F.W. Beare' [90, 91].

[Note: F.W. Beare appears to be a prominent Christian scholar].

PAGE 1538

from: The Classical Review, Volume IX, 1959.

[Book Review] "Norman W. DeWitt: St. Paul and Epicurus [see 1542-1551]. Pp. ix + 201. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (London: Oxford University Press [?]), 1955. Cloth, 32s. net.

[Note: the year was 1954 (not, 1955). I have not yet found, other evidence, of an Oxford printing]

In this work Professor DeWitt seeks to establish in detail the contention of his Epicurus and his Philosophy [see 1528-1535] that Epicureanism formed a bridge from Greek philosophy to Christianity....

The difficulty of such a book is that those who wish to deny any but strictly 'Hebraic' influence on N.T. writers will seize on its excesses of overstatement as proving the impossibility of believing in 'Hellenic' influence at all....

University of Durham J.B. Skemp" [173].

_____ _____ _____

Source: Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974, 10 Volumes, Research Publications, 1983. [Excellent source for reviews (Volume Three, source for preceding reviews (1526-1527, 1536-1539))].

_____ _____ _____

Example, of another book, by Norman W. DeWitt: Ancient History, For High Schools, by Norman W. DeWitt, Ph.D., Professor of Latin, Victoria College, University of Toronto, Authorized by The Minister of Education for Ontario, Price 50 cents, Toronto, The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1928 (c1927).

_____ _____ _____

Example, of another classical book, by Norman W. DeWitt: Demosthenes, VII, Funeral Speech, Erotic Essay LX, LXI, Exordia and Letters, With an English Translation by Norman W. DeWitt, Ph.D., Victoria College, University of Toronto, Canada, and Norman J. DeWitt, Ph.D. [son of Norman W. DeWitt] Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, Cambridge Massachusetts, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLXII (1949).


PAGE 1539


"The Apostle Paul and Epicurus


In addition to Zoroastrianism and the Hellenistic mystery religions, there was the profound influence of Greek philosophy. There is, for example, a connection between the logos of Heraclitus and the logos (Word) of the Book of John.

In the first five Christian centuries, it was neo-Platonic [see 1591] philosophy

[? (for example: "Neoplatonism [see 1524]. The philosophical system of *Plotinus (c. 205-70) and his successors." (Ox. Dict. C.C.))]

[I e-mailed the author, with reactions. No response (received e-mail?)]

that had the most impact on the development of a systematic Christian theology. Undoubtedly the most significant element of this synthesis was the acceptance of Greek humanism by thinkers such as first Justin Martyr and then later Thomas Aquinas and Erasmus.

Outside of the logos doctrine of John, scholarly work on the influences of Greek philosophy on the New Testament writers is not widely known or appreciated. David L. Balch's book Let Wives Be Submissive contains the proposal that Aristotle's

[384 - 322 B.C.E.] ethics is behind the views expressed in 1 Pet. 2:11-3:12. The most interesting work, however, is Norman W. DeWitt's book St. Paul and Epicurus. It is DeWitt's thesis that the philosophy of Epicurus, although never explicitly mentioned, is Paul's main target in his epistles.

Lactantius, a Christian writer living in the third century, claimed that those who followed the philosophy of Epicurus were the largest constituents of pagan belief, much larger than the Mithraists, the Stoics, the Skeptics, or the neo-Platonists. The Epicureans were especially strong in Asia Minor, the [supposed] center of Paul's missionary efforts. Epicurean schools were found in Lampsacus, Mytilene, Bithynia, Colophon close to Ephesus.

Paul's home city Tarsus was ruled by Epicureans in the second century B.C.E.; and Epicureanism was the court philosophy of the notorious Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes (174-167 B.C.E.). Their main tools were textbooks and manuals, many of which a well-educated Hellenistic Jew like Paul would have undoubtedly read. Like Paul, Epicurus composed many epistles to his friends, admonishing them and making the correct doctrine clear.

Scholars have known for a long time that Paul's Greek vocabulary differs substantially from that of the Gospel writers. The following words [in Paul] are used rarely, if not at all, by the Gospel writers, but were standard words in Epicurean texts: ....

PAGE 1540


Although there are no direct references to Epicurus [in Paul], DeWitt has gathered an impressive list of allusions that are in his opinion unmistakable in their indication. Here are just some of them: ....

Ultimately the philosophies of these two figures [Epicurus, and, St. Paul] diverge radically [see below]. Although Paul uses Epicurean terminology concerning peace of mind and related concepts, the two ways to blessedness are quite different. Epicurus thought that happiness in this life could be achieved by any person using right reason. Paul of course believed that humans could not possibly save themselves and that faith in Jesus Christ was the only medium for human salvation." [1,2,4] [End of essay].

["of course" not uncommon to encounter radical (and "of course"--lesser) divergences between parents and offspring, teachers and students, et al.] [see 1508, 1514, 1533; etc.].

PAGE 1541

from: St. Paul [Fictional character! "d. prob. AD 62-5" (Ox. Dict. C.C.)] and Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.], Norman Wentworth DeWitt, University of Minnesota Press, c1954. [found in a San Diego bookstore, 1/1/2001. Prompted, what is now, Addition 34 [see 1644]].

[dust jacket] "$4.00

St. Paul and Epicurus

by Norman W. DeWitt

Everyone who is interested in the meaning of the Bible will find this a revealing study, for it opens up a new window on the New Testament, a window that was walled up centuries ago by prejudice. Professor DeWitt throws new light on the writings of the Apostle Paul by showing how they were influenced by the teachings of the Greek philosopher Epicurus.

That Epicureanism could have a place in Christian religion may come as a surprise to those familiar with the conventional concept of the philosophy of Epicurus. As demonstrated in the meaning of the English word epicure, derived from the name of the ancient philosopher, the modern world has long associated Epicurus with the indulgence of sensual pleasure in food and drink.

But, as Professor DeWitt makes clear both in this volume and in its predecessor, Epicurus and His Philosophy [c1954] [see 1528-1535], the pleasures which the ancient Greek espoused as constituting the chief good of life were not the pleasures of the flesh. The merit and the lure, however, of the Epicurean ethic, which allied happiness with pleasure, were so appealing and so widely acknowledged that Paul had no choice but to adopt it and bless it for his followers with the sanction of religion. He could not, though, admit indebtedness to a philosopher who had long been accused of sensualism and atheism, and there was no choice, therefore, but to consign Epicurus to anonymity. [?]

Through his scholarly investigation into the Epicurean source of certain portions of the Epistles, Professor DeWitt provides new explanations or translations for 76 biblical verses. The close scrutiny of biblical passages is carried out, not in a spirit of vandalism, but in a quest for accuracy, and the result is a challenging, readable, and absorbing book.

Since his retirement from the University of Toronto, Professor DeWitt has established permanent residence at Lincoln, Illinois.

University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis" [dust jacket].

PAGE 1542

                                                                           'Peace and Safety'

Epicurus, like Jesus [a Fictional character], began his ministry, if one may so write, about the age of thirty, and it may be added that he exhibited an aggressiveness comparable to that of Jesus in cleansing the temple. For his first venture as a public teacher his choice fell upon Mytilene, a thriving city on the island of Lesbos. There he quickly exasperated the local philosophers, who were Platonists, by denouncing their whole program of education, and especially rhetoric, which was in high demand as preparing young men for a public career and for this reason jealously guarded as the money-making branch of the curriculum.

These enemies retaliated by accusing Epicurus of impiety, which was treason under Greek law and punishable by death; they prodded the civil authorities into action and incited the rabble against him. So vicious became the threat to his life that the sole way of escape was flight by ship in wintry seas.

By good luck he arrived safely at the refuge of his choice, the city of Lampsacus on the Hellespont, now the Dardanelles; but on the way he was in danger of death by exposure or of capture by pirates, and he narrowly escaped shipwreck. This painful experience was taken to heart. Never again did he invite persecution.

Instead he took the determination to confine himself to peaceful methods and even prescribed rules of safety for his followers in his Authorized Doctrines. Thus the words Peace and safety became catch-words of his sect and unless we are aware of this fact we shall fail to recognize the meaning of Paul in First Thessalonians 5:3: "For when they shall say Peace and Safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them." This version, however, leaves something to be desired; it would be more accurate to read: "For at the very time that the words Peace and Safety are on their lips, sudden destruction is hanging over them."' [7].

"Epicurus was born in Asia and even the Greek he wrote was not the pure Attic. His birthplace was the island of Samos, where he received his early and secondary education and lived to the age of eighteen. For ten years he was afterward domiciled with his parents and three brothers at Colophon, except for intervals of schooling, mainly at the neighboring Teos. These three places are all close to Ephesus and it was in this region that Epicurus wrestled with the problems of the nature of things and of human conduct; it was there he experienced his illuminations and kneaded his philosophy into a coherent whole. After becoming famous he [Epicurus] visited the region two or three times and composed an epistle addressed To the Friends in Asia." [88].

[Note: much of the above, is reminiscent of Hagiography].

PAGE 1543



The present study is a sequel to the author's Epicurus and His Philosophy [c1954] and it aims at making good the thesis there enunciated that Epicureanism functioned as a bridge of transition from Greek philosophy to the Christian religion. It is hoped by this means to have opened up a new window on the New Testament, a window walled up by prejudice long centuries ago....

we shall find that the most beloved devotional readings in the Epistles of Paul exhibit the greatest influence of the friendly Epicurus." [v].

"Epicurus had set the fashion for expounding doctrine in the form of an epistle. One of these writings bore the title To the Friends in Asia and was in circulation for three centuries before Paul composed his Epistle with the inscription To the Saints Which Are in Ephesus.

Long before the congregations organized by Paul began to assemble in private houses to perpetuate the memory of Jesus the Christ, innumerable colonies of the disciples of Epicurus had been accustomed to meet in private houses to perpetuate the memory of their founder, whom they revered as the discoverer of truth and a savior. Epicurus, according to the records, had so ordered it, just as we are informed that Jesus did.

The ability to follow the trail of these hidden parallelisms and to spot the unacknowledged adaptations of Epicurean teachings in the writings of Paul is the sole advantage to be claimed by the author of this study over other scholars. The process of detection, when once the clues have been identified, will not be difficult; one discovery will ease the way to another and in the end the total number of appropriated teachings may prove to be astonishing.

Among the immediate rewards will be more precise translations and occasionally for the first time correct translations.

It was the first intention of the author to entitle this study Epicurus and the New Testament but it speedily became apparent that the Pauline writings called for treatment apart from the Gospels." [vi].

"The human factor reckoned with; the philosophy of Epicurus was animated by a characteristic spirit, genial and reasonable and yet resolute, and to capture this spirit will demand a change of attitude, which is not to be accomplished overnight.

In the present study all questions of scholarship concerning the authenticity of certain Epistles have been ignored as unessential to the problem of Epicurean influence. In general the endeavor has been made to hold the exposition at the level of the educated layman, for whom the source material would neither be available nor usable. Those readers who will find profit in footnotes are referred to the preceding volume, Epicurus and His Philosophy [c1954]." [vii].

"THE READER MUST...KNOW HOW PAUL'S LETTERS ARE PUT TOGETHER. THEY ARE COMPOSED ACCORDING TO A GOOD GREEK FORMULA, WHICH WAS RECOGNIZED AND RECOMMENDED BY ARISTOTLE [384 - 322 B.C.E.]. If from each Epistle the salutation and concluding messages be lopped off, the body of the letter will be seen to consist of three parts, a beginning, middle, and end.

PAGE 1544

[1] The beginning is conciliatory: Paul compliments the community for its faith or for its kindness to him in the past. This is the bid for good will and a sympathetic hearing, well known to rhetoricians as the captatio benevolentiae. [2] The middle part contains warnings, expositions of doctrine, and scoldings, if any, which might possibly try the good will and patience of readers. [3] The concluding passage is reserved for friendly admonition and exhortation.

This happens to be a good Epicurean pattern. The same formula is employed by the Epicurean poet Lucretius [c. 99 - 55 B.C.E.]." [21-22].

'If now a moment may be spared for a rapid survey, we shall have discovered Paul to be reasoning at times after the fashion of Epicurus; we shall have observed the employment of certain words that are peculiar to the vocabularies of Epicurus and Paul; we shall have found several topics to have been illuminated for us by citation of the teachings of Epicurus; and in particular, we shall have found the euphonious verse beginning "whatsoever things are true" to be completely redeemed from its present vagueness by knowledge of Epicurean precepts.

One item of information may also be mentioned for future reflection: Paul seems to display far too much affinity with the cheerful and friendly Epicureans to have ever been enamored of the censorious Stoics, who revered as their founder "the sour and scowling Zeno."' [37].

"The attitude of Paul toward Epicureanism may perhaps be better appreciated if we call attention to the behavior of the Stoics. By the time of Marcus Aurelius [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] they [Stoics] had incorporated so much of Epicureanism into their teachings that the guileless emperor in his Meditations is not even aware when he is voicing the precepts of the anonymous philosopher. Often only the label is Stoic. Epicurus was doomed to anonymity, as in the New Testament. The modern Christian is no more aware than was Marcus Aurelius of his invisible indebtedness to the kindly philosophy of a man [Epicurus] whom history has treated with gross injustice." [86-87] [End of chapter V].

"It is tempting to make a comparison of the two [Epicurus, and, Paul]. Some modern Plutarch might discern in such a project an enticing opportunity to produce a new specimen of Parallel Lives. Both men were celibates on principle, and dubious of the blessings of wedlock. Both men were afflicted by ill health and yet both were capable of more labor than robust individuals. Both had a way of picking up faithful followers: during his brief sojourn in Mytilene Epicurus picked up Hermarchus, who lived with him ever afterward and became his successor as head of the school; in like manner Paul picked up Timothy at Lystra, who shared all his subsequent labors. Both men demanded and commanded loyalty of all converts and went to all lengths to retain it. Epicurus was bent upon proclaiming to all men the call to the happy life; Paul was bent upon awakening all men to the call of the cross, even if it meant persecution. Both men were agile fencers with the rapiers of logic and both erected coherent structures of doctrine.

An amusing item of similarity between the two is the gift of persuasive speech...." [89].

[Note: was "Paul" (see #4, 105; 1546) modelled, in part, on Epicurus?].

PAGE 1545

"Of less importance, though helpful in any understanding of Paul's mind and its working, is his conformance with the Epicurean practice of concluding with a paean of victory over death.

Lastly, we have found Paul throughout his argument adopting the procedures of his competitor, even to the extent of appealing to Nature as a source of truth and incorporating Epicurean ideas in his paean of victory. This phenomenon was destined to repeat itself. The African churchmen Arnobius and Lactantius create the impression in the minds of informed readers of knowing their Epicureanism at least as well as their Bibles." [123] [End of chapter VII].

"We shall...attain a higher degree of clarity if we observe that in the Old Testament we are dealing with a jealous God and a vengeful God....

This idea of jealous and vengeful gods was merely one item in a comprehensive controversy over the nature of divine beings that flourished throughout the three centuries preceding the times of Jesus and Paul. No better evidence of the existence of this controversy need be cited than the fact that Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] published a major work entitled On the Nature of the Gods. Cicero's voice was never one to be heard crying in the wilderness; no topic was attractive to him until other men had created a market for his views. To illustrate: Epicurus had derided all prophecy [see 1502] [note extensive prophecy in the New Testament, (preponderantly) derived and reworked, from the Old Testament, which also, of course, had its antecedents (for prophecy, see: Ox. Dict. C.C.; Dict. Bible, McKenzie, 1965; etc.)]; Cicero treated the topic under the heading of Divination.

If reference to conditions in Rome may seem at first sight somewhat farfetched and surprising, we need to be reminded that Rome, even before the Christian era, was part of the market for Greek books and learning. What may well be more surprising, it had become a center of production for Greek books. For example, the writings of the Epicurean physician Asclepiades, who was admired by Cicero himself, were vigorously attacked by the last great medical writer of antiquity, Galen, whose home was in Asia. There is also reason for suspecting that the views of this Asclepiades on diet and the use of wine for the sick were known to Luke and Paul.

Distinctly more significant for the purposes of the present inquiry were the writings of the Epicurean Philodemus, who also enjoyed the respect of Cicero. Though he was writing in Rome, the market for his publications extended eastward over the whole domain of Greek culture. Some of his writings were certainly known to Paul and this may well be true of three volumes composed by him under the title On the Gods, still extant in ampler fragments than is usual." [139-140].

"We have found Paul to be capable of thinking and writing in four ways: first, as a Jew with orthodox training in childhood; second, as a man of Greek education with liberal tendencies; third, as a pupil of Gamaliel; and lastly, as an individual, a man transformed by a singular and explosive religious experience." [142]. [See: 1545].

PAGE 1546




"First Corinthians 13

Interim and Recognition

It is an astonishing fact--and the earnest student of the New Testament will profit by learning to live with it--that the passages of Paul's Epistles which we most prefer as devotional readings exhibit the most influence of Epicurus.

Among the foremost of these is the hymn to love, the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. It falls into two parts: the first seven verses are a unit, as also the last six. The theme of the first unit is brotherly love, which, like faith and hope, should prevail on earth; the theme of the second unit is divine love, which is eternal and will prevail in heaven...." [144].

"Paul is a man of visions and he cannot but think of the religious experience in terms of vivid sensory experiences, vivid even to the degree of explosiveness. It is this bent of his mind that makes him so partial to the word recognition and the concept behind it. He takes this over from the public thought of his day but he extends it to meet the necessities of his own structure of doctrine. The experience of the resurrection is inevitably prefigured in terms of his own explosive experience on the road to Damascus." [165].

'A last note is due on the phenomenon of RECOGNITION. No less in literature than in ancient philosophy and psychology it played a leading role, especially when the effect was heightened by suspense and surprise. In the drama the most gripping of all scenes were those in which a concealed identity was revealed at last, as when Oedipus was discovered by his own research to have been the murderer of his own father. In the whole of the Greek drama, however, no recognition scene can be found which for concentrated power of passion and surprise is the superior of that described in the unpretentious narrative of Luke, Acts 9:1-9, where Paul, prostrate and blinded, hears the words from heaven: "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."

Here in the brief space of a single paragraph we have before us in unique combination the highest essentials of the tragic drama and no less the kindred religious experience of spiritual discovery and illumination.'

[165-166] [End of chapter IX].

'One of the first writings of Epicurus was an encyclopedic work in thirty-seven rolls entitled On the Nature of Things. This would have made a volume of perhaps fifteen hundred pages if printed in the type and format of the Revised Standard New Testament. It was speedily supplemented by what came to be called the Big Epitome, in seven rolls, which would make a book of half the size of the Revised Standard New Testament. This Epitome was supplemented in turn by a Little Epitome, which is still extant as a letter addressed to Herodotus. It runs to twenty-five pages of text.

PAGE 1547


Thus we have the titles of three writings of Epicurus covering the same ground but we are able to identify the level of knowledge presumed by Paul in his readers as corresponding to the Big Epitome. We are able to infer this because we know that Epicurus set up three criteria of truth, Sensations, Feelings, and Anticipations, and of these only the Sensations find mention in Paul's Epistles, as in Colossians 2:18: "taking his stand on what he has seen, puffed up without justification by the mind of the flesh." This is precisely what we find in the poem of the Roman poet Lucretius, who reproduced in Latin the Big Epitome; he dwells upon the Sensations as criteria but offers no exposition of the other two. There is another item of evidence pointing in the same direction. When Paul in the verse quoted above ["Colossians 2:18"] speaks of "the mind of the flesh," this refers plainly to the doctrine of Epicurus that the mind is an organ of the body no less than the eyes or the ears, which is emphasized by Lucretius while not explicitly stated in the Little Epitome.' [170-171].

'Concerning the topic of contentment with little we are informed by Cicero "that no one had more to say about it than Epicurus [see 1615]." He must have discussed it in various writings but all that is left to us, beyond some isolated sayings, is the charming letter to the lad Menoeceus, which his ancient biographer chose for quotation out of more than three hundred rolls. Other affiliations of this letter with Paul's Epistle to Timothy have been mentioned elsewhere in this study, but here it is worth repeating that both letters associate contentment with little with reverence for the divine being and in the letter [to Menoeceus] of Epicurus we find the exhortation that Paul expresses in an identical context of thought in Philippians 4:8: "think on these things."

We shall also gain something by observing that this letter of Epicurus to Menoeceus deserves to rank as the most fascinating specimen extant of the kind of writing known to the Greeks as protreptic, that is, exhortation to the study of philosophy as the guide of life. Now this style of writing, it is needless to say, was indispensable to Christianity as a missionary creed, and Paul alone among the apostles possessed the necessary training for it [see: Ecclesiastical Corporation, #4, 123]. All the change that was needed was transposition of his tone to another key, which Paul was amply qualified to make. The protreptic or hortatory tone pervades all his ["Paul"] writings and it is expressly designated in this Epistle to Timothy, 6:2: "These things teach and exhort," as it reads in the King James Version.

Thus we observe an attitude, a complex of ideas, and even a terminology that is common to Paul with Epicurus. Each item of this common store, taken by itself, may be discounted as a mere possibility, but the sum of mere possibilities can add up to certainty.' [173].

"Authorized Doctrines

The forty Authorized Doctrines of Epicurus constituted the most notorious brief piece of writing in ancient times. Scholars have translated the title in a variety of ways, such as Principal Doctrines, Sovran Maxims, and the like. In this study they are called Authorized Doctrines, partly for the reason that the shrewd judgment of Cicero so appraised them, but chiefly for the reason that the author [Epicurus] encouraged his disciples to commit them to memory...." [173].

PAGE 1548



The teachings of Epicurus were well known to Paul and to multitudes of people in his day. A few of the more outstanding examples are here appended...." [187].

"The Letter to Menoeceus

Paul shows himself familiar with the letter to Menoeceus, which is the best specimen extant of the writings of Epicurus. It belongs in the class known as protreptic or hortatory, urging the study of philosophy as the guide of life. It was no more intended for the exclusive instruction of Menoeceus than the Epistles to Timothy were intended for his exclusive use.

Epicurus to Menoeceus: Greetings. ...." [188].

'Think on these Things

Meditate therefore by day and by night upon these precepts and upon the others that go with these, whether by yourself or in the company of another like yourself, and never will your soul be in turmoil either sleeping or waking but you will be living like a god among men, for in no wise does a man resemble a mortal creature who lives among immortal blessings."' [193] [End of Appendix].

PAGE 1549

"Verses Newly Explained or Translated
17:26 182
[17:18: "Epicurean and Stoic
philosophers" (see 1525)]
[18:12-17: Gallio, brother of Seneca
(see 1584, 1586, 1588, 1595)]

1:28 161-62

First Corinthians
2:6 182
2:7 181
2:10 111-12
2:13 112
2:14 112-13
2:16 112
6:12, 10:23 175
10:23-34 34
13:7 148-51
13:11 154-55
13:12 164-65
13:13 153,156
15:34 159-60
15:44 115, 117-18
15:45 115
15:46 115-16
15:52 12, 117
Second Corinthians
11:9 169
4:3 58, 63-64, 154
4:8 65
4:9 12, 160, 163
4:12 68
4:15 68-69
5:6 138, 160
5:13 15
5:26 71-72
6:1 32
2:2 93
4:15 32, 57
6:4 98-99
6:12 14, 99-103

1:17 18
2:3-4 19, 72, 177-79
3:2 24, 184
3:18-19 22
4:4 14, 26-28
4:5 28
4:8 28-32
4:10-13 19, 34-37, 81, 135

2:4 17-19
2:8, 20 12, 64
2:18 77-78, 79-80, 111, 171
2:20 79
2:23 80-82
3:9 32
3:10 85-86

First Thessalonians
2:1 38
2:2 38, 41
2:6-7 40-41
2:7 40


PAGE 1550


5:3 7-9, 41-42
5:23 52
Second Thessalonians
2:3 20
First Timothy
3:3 17
3:18, 11 30
5:23 135
6:6 35-36
6:9 19, 179-80
2:2 30
12:2 182,184
1:17 180-81
Second Peter
3:4 13,54-57
3:10,12 56
18-19 113-15
22:13 182-84

" [194-195].

PAGE 1551

from: The Island of the Innocent, A Novel of Greek and Jew in the times of the Maccabees, Vardis Fisher, "He shall deliver the island of the innocent"--Job, Abelard Press, c1952. [See: 1377-1408, 1473-1484 (Vardis Fisher (Biography 1407-1408))].

'Notes and Commentary [404-448]

No experience has been more rewarding for me than the reading of a great many books on the subjects of ancient Judaism and Christianity by both Jewish and non-Jewish scholars. For one thing, it has been amazing to observe how widely scholars can vary in their conclusions who examine the same materials. For another thing, it has been a lesson in intolerance. Though it is true, as Prof. Lake has said, that it is the "general tendency of ecclesiastical scholarship to consult the records of the past only to find the reflections of its own features"; though it is true, as Cumont has said, that "preconceived notions are always the most serious obstacles to an exact knowledge of the past"; it is also true, as Prof. Rylaarsdam reminds us, that the "co-operation of Jewish and Christian scholars is one of the happy phenomena of our time." That is a great deal to have won.

In an effort to see, not a reflection of my features but the truth, I have read all the ablest Jewish scholars available to me, including Abrahams, Baron, Bentwich, Dembitz, Ginsberg, Graetz, Greenstone, Finkelstein, Kohler, Lauterback, Loewe, Marcus, Margolis, Montefiore, Schechter, Waxman, Zeitlin, and others. Of course I do not quote in the following Notes 'scholars', either Jew or gentile, who are merely special pleaders....' [404].

'EPICURUS [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] Few great men have been so traduced. The typical Christian attitude is that of the Catholic historian Duchesne. But Dill: "...a profoundly religious mind, to whom personal immortality is not a necessity of his religion." Thilly: "...not a doctrine of sensuality." W. Walker: "in his own life he was an ascetic." James: "The dictum 'eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die' is a travesty of the Epicurean philosophy." W.M. Macdonald: "...must be acquitted of the charge of sensuality." Case: "...a brilliant exception to the general run of men in that he ventured to withstand religion to her face. Other people were terrified by the story of the gods, by thunderbolts, and the roar of the electric storm. But these things only gave him fresh courage, filling him with a desire to burst the fast bars of nature's portals and bring to men a knowledge of the perfectly natural character of all physical phenomena." C.H. Moore: "The noble resignation, the high moral and humane zeal, which characterized the Epicurean school at its best..." Hunkin: "The main purpose of Epicurus was to deliver men from fear, especially fear of the gods and of life after death." Oates: " rid men from certain besetting fears..." Norton: "aimed to free men from superstitious fear." Bevan: "We have never been thoroughly frightened; the ancient world was frightened. ...There is no point upon which the ancient followers of Epicurus pour out their gratitude to their Master more ecstatically than that he had delivered them from religion, from all the terrors of the Beyond." Enslin: "to every Jew an abomination"--but not to Hellenic Jews. Bentwich: "The hostility of Judaism toward...Epicurus"--a hostility which Christianity inherited.'

[418] [End of entry].

PAGE 1552


[an aside]

'JUDAISM Heine called it not a religion but a misfortune; whatever it is, scholars find it difficult to write objectively on this subject....

Breasted: "In the ancient East monotheism [related to monarchism] was but imperialism in religion." ....

As to its [Judaism] origen, Goldziher: "GENESIS...A MERE LITERARY CREATION." Driver: "their beliefs about the origin and early history of the world, their social usages, their code of civil and criminal law, their religious institutions, can no longer be viewed as differing in kind from those of other nations...all, as is now known, have substantial analogies among other peoples." McCown: "Their laws, including some of their most highly ethical elements, were to be found, even with improvements, in the Code of Hammurabi [see 1471-1472; etc.]. Their ideals of the universal justice of God, of his disregard, even hatred, of wealth and power, and of his care for the poor, the orphan, the widow had already been proclaimed in Egypt or Babylonia or both, long before the birth of Abraham."' [426-427 [End of entry].

PAGE 1553


from: Philo [Philo of Alexandria 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] and the Church Fathers, A Collection of Papers, David T. Runia, Brill, 1995.

"Supplements to

Vigiliae Christianae

Formerly Philosophia Patrum

Texts and Studies of Early Christian Life
and Language


J. Den Boeft--R. Van Den Broek--A.F.J. Klijn
G. Quispel--J.C.M. Van Winden

Volume XXXII"

"Chapter One

Platonism, Philonism, and the Beginnings
of Christian Thought

Inaugural address
University of Utrecht [1992]" ["1"].

"The difficulty of determining the role that Philo played at the beginning of Christian thought and the widely divergent answers that are given to this question result from the fact that a conflict can very easily arise between an historical and a systematic approach to the question. As I observed earlier, the Philonic corpus was saved from total destruction by the efforts of the early Christians [see 1558]. It would seem obvious, to start with an investigation into the preservation and reception of Philo's works in this tradition. The first step then must be to distinguish between A [1] DIRECT AND AN [2] INDIRECT LINE OF TRANSMISSION. The direct line is the more easily dealt with. Philo [13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] is first explicitly mentioned and cited by Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - 211-215], who appropriates large sections of his writings.36 After that he is referred to in a large number of Patristic authors. The dissemination of Philonic ideas in Patristic authors is greater than is often thought. But here too there are considerable problems. Very often direct citations are not a very sound guide to the way sources are exploited in Patristic works. An extreme case is furnished by of Ambrose [339 - 397], who uses Philo on about 600 occasions--often in a way that we would regard as plagiarism--, but only refers to him on a single occasion.37

PAGE 1554


But it is not very likely that all these fathers made a direct and intensive study of Philo's works. Another possibility is that his ideas were transmitted in an indirect manner. This occurs especially via the Alexandrian tradition of Clement, Origen and Didymus, and to a lesser degree via the works of the brothers Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, which were later extensively read in Byzantium. Above all Origen's great (but lost) Commentary on Genesis is thought to have played a central role in the appropriation and transmission of certain Philonic philosophical themes in the exegetical tradition.38 IT IS A REMARKABLE AND LITTLE OBSERVED ASPECT OF BOTH THE HELLENISTIC-JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN EXEGETICAL TRADITION THAT NAMES OF INDIVIDUAL EXEGETES ARE SELDOM MENTIONED, in marked contrast to the Rabbinic tradition, but also to that of the Platonist commentators, where names of predecessors occur on almost every page.39 THIS MEANS THAT LATER INTERPRETERS OFTEN HAD NO IDEA OF THE ACTUAL ORIGIN OF IDEAS THAT THEY REPORT AND UTILIZE....

Now, if the difficulties we face were confined to the unravelling of a direct and an indirect tradition, then matters would still be reasonably under control. But there is a further complication. Before we reach Clement there are a number of early Christian writers who do not mention by [sic] Philo by name, and whose writings do not allow us to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that they had read his books. Yet they do mention themes that are so closely related to Philonic thought that some kind of relationship cannot possibly be denied.41 The same can be said--with all due caution--of the New Testament.42 For this reason I am compelled to propose a third tradition, which I call THE [3] BROADER OR GENERAL TRADITION. This third line of transmission is caused by the fact that Philo was without doubt the greatest and best-known exponent of Hellenistic-Jewish thought, but he did not stand alone. The anonymity of the exegetical tradition means that he [Philo] is indebted to a broader current of thought, which also exercised an influence outside the direct line of his works.43 Because this rich literature has almost entirely disappeared, we are unable to reconstruct its precise contours, and are left guessing as to the influence it may have had.

What should one do in this situation? If I take only the direct and indirect line of transmission, I will be leaving out of consideration a number of important stimuli for the appropriation of explicitly Philonic material in the subsequent tradition. On the other hand I cannot simply attribute the broader tradition to Philo, not only because this would be irresponsible from the historical point of view, but also because it would then be easy to lose sight of what is specifically Philonic. The solution which I tentatively suggest this afternoon is the distinction between Philo and Philonism. Philo, we have seen, is the most important and most vital representative of a wider movement, in which the biblical tradition was first brought in direct contact with the philosophical thought that was developed in Greek culture. In actual fact this movement ["Philonism"] goes back at least as far as the translators of the Septuagint [apparently, 3rd-2nd centuries B.C.E. (Ox. Dict. C.C.)]. They made various striking choices, which certainly would have been different without the philosophical tradition in the background, as for example in the case of the divine name...[1 + 2, Greek letters] (he who is).44 It is on account of this wider background that I have adopted the term Philonism, and not the name Philo, in the title of my address.


PAGE 1555


We now finally return to our question, now posed in a slightly modified form: to what extent did Philonism play an important role in the development of early Christian thought? It is possible in my view to give at least four answers to this question. It goes without saying that these can now only be presented and discussed in very general terms...." [9-12].

"Epithets indicating connections with philosophical schools in Clement

[Clement of Alexandria c. 150 - 211-215]

Before looking at particular examples, we must first address a preliminary question. What do terms such as 'Pythagorean' and 'Peripatetic' refer to? Here there is an important distinction that needs to be made.

In the first place such terms will very often indicate membership of or affiliation to a...philosophical 'school' or, perhaps better, 'school of thought'.28 In Clement's time [Clement of Alexandria c. 150 - 211-215], as is well known, philosophers were generally identified by their allegiance to one of the rival 'schools' that went back to the earlier period of the Greek philosophical tradition. These 'schools' scarcely existed in the institutional sense to which we are accustomed....

One could also be 'affiliated' with...a 'school of thought' without teaching philosophy professionally. Here we think of men such as Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], who regarded himself as an 'Academic', the 'Platonist' Plutarch [c. 46 - after 119 C.E.], the 'Stoic' Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], and so on. Such membership could be projected into the distant past, e.g. Empedocles [c. 490 - 430 B.C.E.] could be called 'the Pythagorean' because he came from Western Greece, was thought to have been a pupil of Pythagoras [c. 580 - c. 500 B.C.E.], and maintained similar doctrines (e.g. reincarnation).30

It is also possible, however, to use these terms in a different sense, to indicate not a membership of or an affiliation to a 'school of thought', but rather an affinity to the thought of...." [61-62].

"'affinity of thought' retrospectively attributed." [63]

[the above, will serve as a reminder: descriptions such as Epicurean, Stoic, etc., until proven otherwise, should be interpreted as: "affinity to the thought of".

Relax rigidity! (see 1601 ("not as a rigid Stoic...."))].


PAGE 1556


from: Philo of Alexandria [c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.], an Introduction, Samuel Sandmel [1911 - 1979], Oxford, 1979.

"1 Introduction"

'The Roman historians stress that Egypt in general and Alexandria in particular were hotbeds of both resentment against Rome and rebelliousness. That Egypt was ruled by a prefect subject not to the Roman Senate but to the Emperor himself reflects the Roman anxiety about the stability of the Roman rule there. Culturally, Alexandria and its eminence challenged the supremacy of Rome. Politically, there existed some adversary presumptions between Alexandria and Rome. In the areas in which Rome was suspicious of Alexandria, the Jews of Alexandria were an additional factor of Roman disquietude. In other words, Rome had its problems with Alexandria. The Jews there constituted a complication to those problems.

The Jewish community [in Alexandria] in Philo's time was immense, outnumbering the Jewish population of Judea. Philo (Flaccus 43) speaks of the Jewish population of Egypt as more than a million. Modern demographers do not fully accept this figure but are agreed that the population was huge.8 Philo [c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] speaks of the many synagogues that existed in Alexandria. Rabbinic tradition mentions a sort of "great synagogue" of great size and luxury, but this may be only legendary.9

Were the Jews of Alexandria "Alexandrians?" What was their political status before Egypt became Roman? What was it after? Answers to such important questions are elusive, for the sources provide neither full nor clear information.' [6-7].

'....the documents which he [Josephus c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.] provides elsewhere (especially in Antiquities, Book XIV) are not taken at face value by many modern scholars, especially by Victor Tcherikover.12 [see footnote, 1563] That there is "forgery" in the documents, or that whole documents are forgeries, is a frequent though contested conclusion among scholars. If there was indeed forgery, it might have been present already in the documents Josephus quotes, or he himself may have been the forger. Tcherikover's conclusion respecting Jews of Alexandria is negative, that is, Jews did not possess fullest equality in the matter of civil rights, despite the term isopoliteia which Josephus used.' [8].

"His [Victor Tcherikover 1894 - 1958] reasonable conclusion is that it was habitual rather than strictly legal for Jews to abstain from the worship of Greek gods, and from regarding the emperor as a god....Except in the case of Gaius Caligula [Emperor 37 - 41 C.E. (12 - 41)], Jews seem to have had no difficulties in abstaining from emperor worship." [10].


PAGE 1557


"We must balance the circumstance that he [Philo] was not a writer for the masses with the fact that a great abundance of what he wrote was copied and preserved. Philo's writings were preserved and transmitted by Christians, not by Jews.24 His legacy of writings was lost to


Certainly at various stages in the early Christian centuries there were those who thought Philo was worth preserving. In his own time, were his followers a large group, or a small one--indeed, no more than a coterie of fellow intellectuals? We simply do not know....

There is very little of significant accidental inconsistency in Philo. Repetitious and prone to digression though he was, Philo can nevertheless be credited with the ability to control his material; he is never controlled by it." [14-15].

'There is universal agreement among scholars that the Greek culture reflected in Philo is both broad and penetrating, the result of reading and study in intensity and depth. He quotes some fifty-four classical authors directly and accurately. His Greek is the koine [koine, reportedly (see Adolf Gustav Deissmann 1866 - 1937; et al.), is the Greek of the New Testament], but it is in the pretentious imitation of Athens that this is customarily called Atticistic.

Philo's content, even when it is Scripture he is explaining and Judaism he is defending, is always Grecian, except in one matter. In the mechanics of Philo's use of allegory--to which we presently turn--Philo gives us the translation into Greek of the Hebrew names of biblical personalities....But apart from the etymologies of the biblical names, virtually everything else in Philo is thoroughly Grecian. Perhaps one might put things in the following way: Philo's basic religious ideas are Jewish, his intuitions Jewish, and his loyalties Jewish, but his explanations of ideas, intuitions, and devotions are invariably Greek. Scripture has its array of prophets, and Philo "believes" in prophecy; when Philo explains what prophecy is and how it works, his [Philo] exposition comes from Plato [c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.].' [15].

"3 Philo's Writings"

'The more one works in Philo, the stronger is apt to arise the suspicion that the account of the Therapeutae is hardly one of restrained, accurate reporting [? (see above: "Philo can....")]. In recent years a variety of "communes" have arisen, and comparable idealization has seemed to me present in the glowing reports I have heard or read on the part of participants, and especially on the part of would-be participants.' [39].


PAGE 1558


'Philo now feels called upon to comment on the circumstance that he and the other Alexandrian Jews utilized not the original Hebrew [Hebrew Bible] (PHILO SAYS "CHALDEAN" [note: this reference to '"Chaldean"', is very stirring]), but the translation into Greek

[a Greek version, of a Hebrew version [see: Encyc. Religion, 1987, Vol. 2, 152-173; etc.] [consider possible influences of possible versions, in Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, other languages?, dialects?], regarded as a Septuagint version ("Septuagintal type" (see 1562))].

How, in view of the defects usually inherent in a translation, could the Mosaic Laws as found in the Greek be regarded as firm, unshaken, and immovable? Philo answers the question by repeating the substance of the account of the origin of the Greek translation as related in The Letter of Aristeas [see 1562]. Philo offers some embellishment of his own. The account in The Letter of Aristeas tells that Demetrios of Phaleron, the librarian, had lamented to Ptolemy Philadelphus [see #24, 494] that the great library at Alexandria [see #24, 534-540, 545] lacked the Pentateuch ["Five Books of Moses" (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) (see 1562)]. With the sanction of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Demetrios had invited to Alexandria seventy-two priests of Jerusalem who knew Greek as fluently as they knew Hebrew. In Philo's version,34 Demetrios goes unmentioned [see 1562]; the credit is ascribed solely to the Ptolemy. Also, in Philo's version, the translators found a suitable isolated place on the island of Pharos. Gathered there, they held the sacred books in hands stretched out to heaven, asking God that they not fail in their purpose. Then, "they became as it were possessed and, under inspiration,35 wrote, not each scribe something different, but the same word for word, as though dictated by an invisible prompter." As a result, "if Chaldeans have learned Greek, or Greeks Chaldean, and read both versions...they regard them with awe and reverence as sisters....[They] speak of the authors not as translators but as prophets and priests and prophets of the mysteries."36' [51-52].

"12 Philo and Christianity"

'One motif of great significance in Hellenistic Judaism and Hellenistic Christianity is that of "wisdom." WE HAVE SEEN THAT PHILO'S LOGOS [see 1561, 1564] IDEA HAS A DUAL ANCESTRY, THE JEWISH HOKMA AND THE GREEK SOPHIA.2 In recent scholarship, both in Old and New Testament, there has been a high emphasis on the "wisdom" tradition, and a vast literature now exists.3 A range of related ideas had come into being which utilized biblical passages, such as Prov. 8: 22-31, to assert, first, that God had himself utilized wisdom in his acts of creation; next, wisdom was an entity potentially available to man as well as to God; and, indeed, wisdom was capable of being personified (as in Proverbs, chapter 8), or, beyond that, conceived of as a "hypostasis," a discrete entity. The idea in hypostasis was that wisdom was truly capable of acting and of doing.... [compare: hocus-pocus; abracadabra; voodoo; etc.] [see #3, 45, 215.; 67, 352.; etc. (hypostatization)]


PAGE 1559


In the unfolding views found in Christian literature there are some general echoes of the conception of God as over and above this world, and of the Christ as more or less equivalent to the Logos. The direct identification of Logos and Christ occurs in the prologue to the Gospel According to John [see 1561, 1564]. Yet there is a necessary prelude that needs to be emphasized. The Logos in Jewish writings, such as Wisdom of Solomon and Philo, is distinct from Christian views in that in the Jewish writings, Logos is what we might call a timeless idea; the Logos in Christian thought is always connected with the event of Jesus. That is, on a historic occasion, the Logos, in John's words, became incarnate in Jesus [see 1561]. Hence, while similarities exist in the Christian form of the exposition of the nature of God, there is this difference: Philo's effort is to set forth the philosophical conceptions, while the Christian effort is to fit the event of the Christ into its unfolding views.

Still another difference within the context of similarity is to be noted. Philo was a diligent student, an erudite master of the Greek philosophic tradition antecedent to him. A person such as Paul was not a student in this sense; Paul's philosophical knowledge came to him from the atmosphere and not from some diligent poring over texts. One might say, especially respecting Colossians and Ephesians, that these reflect the need to fit the Christ into the general religious ideas of the time, whereas Philo is concerned to provide a pedantic explanation of these general ideas.'


'THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF LITERATURE4 [see footnote, 1563] THAT LINKS PHILO AND PAUL TOGETHER. At one extreme, rejected by all other scholars I have read, is a view that assets that Paul had read Philo.5 Wrong as the statement seems to be, it nevertheless underscores how the two echo [?] each other, not [?] from direct literary dependence but rather out of a common [? (too general, and details unknown)] atmosphere. This overlap is to be found in the Epistles of Paul, not in the Acts of the Apostles. THE PORTRAIT OF PAUL, AS FOUND IN ACTS, IS A VERY OLD PROBLEM IN NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP [amusing! Fiction, is not a "problem" (see #4, 105-151 (Paul))]; for our present purposes, it is the Paul of the Epistles alone that is here under consideration.6

As to the elements in common, both Philo and Paul have a view of God as fully transcendent and therefore both faced the need to bridge that gap. In both there is found a dualism7 in which man is composed of a material side which by assumption is evil and an immaterial side which by assumption is good. In both, man is challenged to rise above body and to live in the "intelligible world," as Philo phrases it, or in the "spirit" as Paul does. We need, though, to note some differences that affect at least how each expresses his characteristic views, even if they are basically similar. Thus, PHILO WAS FULLY A RATIONALIST, PAUL NOT. Paul lived in a universe controlled or inhabited by the devil and governed by principalities ["supramundane powers often in conflict with God. Ephes. 6:12." (Random House); etc.]; these ideas are not expressed in Philo at all....' [150].


PAGE 1560


"....In Philo a man, under providence, merits reward or punishment for his deeds; in Paul man cannot work his own salvation but needs to have salvation divinely wrought for him. In Paul the saved are those whom God has predestined for salvation.

Both solve the problem of God's transcendence in similar ways. The terms central to each are different,


In more than one sense the two diverse terms ["Logos"--"Christ"] are synonymous, for both terms suggest the mechanism whereby the transcendent God becomes immanent. Yet despite this vague similarity, there is an acute difference. In Philo all is static, and history of little import, since in Philo the Logos is timeless and unconnected with time or space; in Paul, as already suggested, event is the crucial matter in that the Christ became Jesus in Judea in the immediate past history, and then the Christ appeared to Paul. Though Philo reports that recurrently the Logos had permeated his being, there is a noticeable difference in the way in which the Christ enters into Paul, almost constantly permeates him, and alters him." [151-152].

'The New Testament writing that has yielded the most abundant literature on possible relations with Philo is the Gospel According to John. As is known, the prologue to the Gospel ["According to John" (see 1560, 1564)] utilizes the word "Logos"; in the Epistles of Paul where the genuineness of Paul's authorship is not disputed ["the genuineness of Paul's authorship [and, "genuineness" of Paul] is" [are] disputed [see #4, 105-151, passim; etc.]], the word does not appear, though the identification of Christ with Logos seems implicit. It is the explicit identification in John that has yielded the harvest of so much literature, with both theories of a direct dependency of John on Philo15 and fervent denials of even an indirect dependency. The problem is complicated by the diversity of views on the Gospel, for example, that which regards the Logos prologue as permeating the entire Gospel, and a contrary view which regards the prologue as if it were engrafted onto the Gospel and thereafter forgotten.

There is rather universal agreement, within the controversies, that the Logos prologue [John 1: 1-18 (see 1560, 1564)] is better illumined by an understanding of the Logos idea in Philo than by any other non-New Testament writing; it is agreed that Philo is by far the largest available source for the idea contained in the word Logos [see 1564]. The caution is nevertheless necessary that, as is the case of Paul, John associates the Logos with event, that is, the Logos on a historical occasion became incarnate in the Jesus [see 1560], while in Philo the Logos is never brought into relationship with history in this way....' [154-155]. [See: 1560].

[See: 1564 (Logos)].


PAGE 1561


"Appendix: Tools and Current Research"

'Since it is the Greek Bible which is the basis of Philo's interpretation, it is an ordinary procedure to say that Philo used "the Septuagint." However, modern students have become increasingly leery of speaking of the Septuagint, for research has led to a questioning of older views [Propaganda!]. The Letter of Aristeas [see 1559], apparently written between 100 and 50 B.C. ascribes the origin of the Greek translation as follows. During the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus [see 1559], the eminent librarian Demetrios [see 1559] of Phaleron lamented to the king that the celebrated library [see 1559], containing the greatest collection of books ever assembled, lacked the Five Books of Moses. The Ptolemy authorized Demetrios to procure a translation. To that end he invited to Alexandria seventy-two priests from Jerusalem who knew Greek as fluently as Hebrew. After a hospitable reception, and a banquet, reminiscent of a Platonic Symposium, the translators set to work and accomplished the objective. (Philo hearkens back to this matter in On Moses II; see pp. 51-52). The implication is that the Septuagint (meaning "seventy," a shortening of the actual number of seventy-two) was the result of a deliberate and single incident.

The historical reliability of the tradition found in the Letter of Aristeas has been challenged on two different bases. One has been the allegation that the tradition in the Letter of Aristeas is only a legend, a bit of Jewish apologetics, and is quite incredible. The other basis for challenge has been the assertion that in reality the so-called Septuagint is the end result of a slow process whereby out of a range of earlier, tentative translations, the Septuagint in more or less fixed form slowly emerged. If the Septuagint is the result of a process, then one should more properly speak of early efforts at translation not as the Septuagint, but of "SEPTUAGINTAL TYPES." Consistent with the latter view, it would be more precise to say that THE BIBLE PHILO UTILIZED WAS OF A SEPTUAGINTAL TYPE, rather than "the Septuagint." ....

The matter of Philo's biblical text is a concern more for students of the origin and development of THE SEPTUAGINT AND OTHER GREEK VERSIONS

[of the Hebrew Bible versions (see 1559)]

[needed, in Theological investigations (Bible versions, etc.), is the equivalent of DNA studies in the Zoological world (which studies, have negated romances of monogamy, in the vertebrate world)]

than it is for Philo and his thought.' [168-170].

[See: Addition 25, 1180-1181 (Septuagint)].

PAGE 1562



[Chapter 1]

[not referenced above] "2. He [Philo c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] assails Pontius Pilate in Leg. 299-305 (see Ch. 3, p. 000). There is no mention of Jesus in the passage [OR, ANYWHERE!].

[not referenced above] 3. PHILO'S WRITINGS BECAME USEFUL TO CHRISTIANS IN ALEXANDRIA [years?]. A result was the Christian rewriting of at least one passage, the first part of Prov [De Providentia]. The view arose that Philo had converted to Christianity; baseless as this is, it nevertheless points to the congruencies between Philo's theological position and that of Christians such as Clement and Origen." [171].

[see 1557] '12. See, in his [Victor Tcherikover] Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews, tr. by S. Applebaum (Philadelphia, 1959), pp. 309-32. He [Victor Tcherikover] says (p. 309) that on the question of Jewish rights, "Josephus is to be estimated, in the main, not as a historian but as a Jewish apologist...."' [172].

[Chapter 11]

[not referenced above] "1. The great scholar of Tübingen, F.C. Baur [1792 - 1860], treated the issue of the rapid Hellenization of Christianity by denying that it had taken place. His view was that MOST OF THE LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS COMPOSED IN THE SECOND CHRISTIAN CENTURY; most of the Epistles of Paul were second-century writings which falsely ascribed to Paul the authorship of Epistles written at least a century after his time. If so, there was no rapid Hellenization. I do not recall any attention by Goodenough [Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough 1893 - 1965] to the Baur theory." [189].

[Chapter 12]

[see 1560] '4. Henry Chadwick, "St. Paul and Philo," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library XLVIII (1965-66): 286 ff.; Wilfred L. Knox, St. Paul and the Church of Jerusalem (Cambridge, 1925), has a list of passages (pp. 129-36) in which Paul and Philo echo each other [see 1560]. Knox (p. 135) goes on to say that "it is by no means unreasonable to suppose that the resemblances between the thought of S. Paul and Philo are attributable to their common use of other writings now lost, which put forward the allegorical interpretation of Judaism on lines somewhat less radical than those favoured by Philo, and more in accordance with the letter of the O.T. and its traditional rabbinical interpretation. It is however quite possible that S. Paul may well have had some slight general acquaintance with Philo....At the same time the probability is very strongly in favour of the view that...both S. Paul and Philo are acquainted with and make use of the general outlook of Hellenistic Jewish thought...."' [191]. [Did "Paul" (writers) use Philo? (see 1576-1579)].

PAGE 1563

[not referenced above (see 1560, 1561)] "16. I have not been persuaded that the prologue ["Logos prologue" (156) [John 1: 1-18]] is a pre-Christian gnostic hymn. In Judaism and Christian Beginnings (New York, 1978), pp. 373-74, I gave an interpretation along this line, that Jews and Christians in common sought for communion with the Logos. The prologue is a Christian argument addressed to Jews, asserting that the quest for the Logas [Logos] is no longer necessary, for


[this was my comment, in one of my early handouts (to friends), 1993

(see #3, 85, 200.)]. [see 1560, 1561]." [192].

[Comment (6/27/2001): Jesus (was) is a deus ex machina (see 1509, 1578)].

['Logos. Greek: "word," "reason," "method," "cause." It answers to the Hebrew Dabar," word," "method," "act." ....This term, as used in the New Testament, came to educated Jews from Greek philosophy....

Pythagoras [c. 580 - c. 500 B.C.E.] spoke of a "spirit, light, or life, pervading all things; a god vivifying the universe--a light of heaven, and father of all, producing, and giving motion to his own immensity." Parmenides (500 B.C.) speaks of the Logos as a deification of Reason, in which he urged men to trust rather than in the senses or the imagination (Prof. L. Mills, Rl. Asiatic Socy. Journal, Oct. 1902). Anaxagoras (460 B.C.) is said by the Greeks to have been the first to recognise the Logos. Herakleitos of Ephesus (450 B.C.), and others, spoke of the Logos as a powerful and eternal heat or fire, without which there is no life or motion. He regarded it as the Reason, and eternal Law, of motion in the strife of the elements, dividing and uniting. By such strife alone life becomes possible. The Logos as Cause, Fate, Creator, or Reason, directs all such conflict. The term was familiarised by the writings of Plato about 350 B.C.: and his philosophy was adopted by Philo (50 B.C.) the Alexandrian Jew....' [455, 456] (Encyc. Religions, Vol. 2, Forlong, 1964 (1906)).

"Logos (Gk...[Greek word], 'Word' or 'Reason'), used esp. in Christian theology with reference to the Second Person of the Trinity. The term was known both in pagan and in Jewish antiquity. Heraclitus (c. 500 BC) conceived of the Logos in a pantheistic way as the universal reason governing and permeating the world, and the Stoics took over the idea and popularized it...." (Ox. Dict. C.C., 1997)].

Additional References

Philo in Early Christian Literature, A Survey, David T. Runia. Van Gorcum, Assen; Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1993.

Philo and the Church Fathers, A Collection of Papers, David T. Runia. Brill, 1995.

[See: 1554-1556].

PAGE 1564


from: The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Gordon Stein, Editor, Two Volumes, Volume One, A-K, Prometheus, 1985. [Note: the following (1565-1567) abstracts, are very powerful (author: G.A. Wells (on, and from, Bruno Bauer))].

'Bauer, Bruno (1809-1882), German theologian and historian, wrote searching criticisms of the Gospels from 1840 to 1842 and supplemented these with his Critique of the Gospels and History of Their Origin (4 vols., 1850-52), all of which Albert Schweitzer [1875 - 1965] has justly called "the ablest and most complete collection of the difficulties of the life of Jesus which is anywhere to be found." The earlier of these works led the Prussian authorities to dismiss Bauer from his university post in theology at Bonn in 1842, after which he lived privately in Berlin.

Bauer argued that the early Christians constructed a redeemer whose suffering and final glorification was modeled on Septuagint portraits of the prophets. Against David Friedrich Strauss [1808 - 1874], he held that it was Christians who first discovered messianic prophecies in the Old Testament (the messianic ideas of, for example, the Talmud being, in his view, later and formulated in controversy with Christianity). In his books of 1850-52 and his later Christ and the Caesars (1877) [see 1568] and The Original Gospel (1880) he


'Bauer noted that in Alexandria, Philo (born c. 10 B.C.) took up Heraclitus'

[c. 540 - c. 480 B.C.E.] old idea of the Logos and made it the incorporeal first-born of God, the high priest who stands before God on behalf of the world. He is a personal and enduring mediator between God and man, the bread of life given to man's soul. He is God's cupbearer, who offers himself as refreshing wine--not to the rulers of this word, who are due to be overthrown, but to the lowly wise man, guiding him to a higher word not attainable by flesh and blood. Philo sees the Logos as related to the "word" with which God, in the Jewish scriptures, ordered things on earth, and he interprets these divine ordinances in a highly spiritualized way, as did the Therapeutae, whom he mentions as being numerous in Egypt. They looked for hidden meanings in the scriptures by way of allegorical analysis. BAUER CALLS THEM PROTO-CHRISTIANS [see #5, 161 (Proto-Christian)].' [44].

'Philo [c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] writes of "Wisdom" as of a synonym of "Logos," and in pre-Christian Jewish Wisdom literature. Wisdom is a savior figure calling "come to me, you who desire me and eat your fill of my fruit" (Ecclesiasticus 24:19). Of this, says Bauer, Matthew 11:28 is an obvious reflection; and modern commentators agree that it is a piece of early Christian church writing based on Jewish literature and put into Jesus' mouth. One of Bauer's great services to New Testament criticism was to show how much of what Jesus is made to say in the Gospels represents, NOT HIS [JESUS] EXPERIENCE, BUT THAT OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY....' [44]. [See: #3, 65-66 ("The Jesus Seminar")].

PAGE 1565




[the above 3 lines appear to be from: Seneca, Ad Lucilium, Epistulae Morales, Epistle XI [see 1615 (see also, 1617)]. If so, "imaginary personage" (or the concept), does not appear in the translation by Richard Gummere]

[see Epistle XCV: 45-46 ("Supreme Good"; "ideals"; (not presented))].

SENECA HELD THAT THE WORLD IS SO CORRUPT [? (source?) (Christian expression?) (see 1570, 1614)] THAT IT WILL HAVE TO GO UP IN FIRE BEFORE IT CAN BE RENEWED, AND THAT STAR WILL COLLIDE WITH STAR [see 1570, 1614] IN THE PROCESS. (Bauer noted that 2 Peter 3:12-13 draws on similar ideas for its depiction of the Last Judgment.)

WHEN SENECA DESCRIBES THE REBIRTH OF THE WORLD FROM SUCH RUINS, HE SAYS THAT THERE WILL THEN BE A MAN WHO KNOWS NOTHING OF CRIME AND WHO WILL BE BORN UNDER THE MOST FAVORABLE AUSPICES [source?]. Bauer argued that, while Philo made the Logos a priestly mediator, hovering between heaven and earth, Seneca brought him down to earth and made him ["Logos"] prove his worth by his suffering there...." [44].

"Bauer allowed some 25 years (after Seneca's [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] influence) for the formation of the original gospel and a further 25 for the stage reached by the fourth Gospel. He was unwilling to concede that any extant Christian literature is earlier than the late 1st century. He argued, plausibly enough, that the Acts of the Apostles is a late work, because it depicts Paul as a mere copy of Peter, to whom Paul is made to give precedence and whose subservience to the Jewish law he apes.

However, Bauer's view that the principal letters ascribed to Paul are 2nd-century forgeries--which makes Paul completely independent of Peter as a counterblast to the Paul of Acts and as an idealization of the obscure Paul of history [not historical! a Fictional character!]--is untenable [tenable!], although this dating was forcefully argued early this century by all such radical Dutch theologians as Willem Christiaan van Manen [1842 - 1905] and Gustaaf Adolf van den Bergh van Eysinga [1874 - 1957]...." [45-46]. [See (Paul): #4, 105-151; etc.].

PAGE 1566

'Modern theologians mention Bauer [Bruno Bauer 1809 - 1882] (if at all) only briefly and with contempt, Schweitzer [Albert Schweitzer 1875 - 1965] and Wrede [William Wrede 1859 - 1906] being notable exceptions. Adolf Harnack [1851 - 1930] also praised Christ and the Caesars [see 1568-1572] for appreciating both "the real significance of the Greek element [see: #5, 157-158; Addition 31, 1379 (Greek influence [see 1641-1643])] in the gentile [religion (Christianism)] Christianity which became the Catholic Church and doctrines," and also "the influence of the Judaism of the Diaspora as a preparation for this gentile [religion (Christianism)] Christianity."' [46] [End of entry] [G.A. Wells].

[Note: this is a classic! G.A. Wells (see biography, Who's Who in Hell, 2000,

p. 1168), writing on Bruno Bauer].

PAGE 1567


from: Christ and the Caesars, The Origin of Christianity From Romanized Greek Culture, by Bruno Bauer, English Translation by Frank E. Schacht, Ed.D., Alexander Davidonis, publisher, Charleston, SC, 1998 [1877 German].


"Seneca's New Religion"

'The gentle reader will have recognized in all these sentences old acquaintances with whom he is familiar since childhood. They are known to us since our first Bible lessons. The body as a hostel of the divine corresponds to the temple of God whom the apostle ["Paul"] (1 Corinth. 3, 16) wants to have respected in the bodies of the faithful. When Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], in spite of this importance of the body, groans for liberation from its oppressive burden, the apostle too sighs (Romans 7, 24. 8, 3) for deliverance from this death-bound body. The desire of Seneca's citizens of heaven to get rid of this burden sounds like the words of the New Testament. "To die is my gain. I desire to die and be with Christ." When Seneca exclaims (Epist. 102): "We cannot yet see the heavenly fatherland except from a distance," the apostle consoles himself (1 Corinth. 13. 12) that: "Now I know in part but then I shall know..." Just as Seneca recommends that the body soar upward even before the birthday of eternity when the bodily wrap will be taken from the soul, the apostle too says (2 Corinthians 5, 1-9) that: "we know that if the earthly house in which we dwell is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made by human hands, eternal in the heavens..... therefore we strive, whether at home or abroad, so that we might please Him." "Our walk is in heaven," continues the letter to the Philippians 3, 18-20 this observation, whereas for the others their "god is their stomach," and central point of this entire series of thoughts also dominates the letter to the Hebrews where the patriarchs (chpt. 11, 13-16) on their road to the heavenly home think of themselves as strangers here on earth.

However, IF WE LOOK FROM SENECA BACK TO ANTIQUITY NONE OF HIS SENTENCES OFFER US ANYTHING NEW. Only the complaining and cutting accent with which he presents his thoughts and the actuality with which they constantly press down on him as well as their arrangement is original. But the content itself--all that sighing of every creature--(to use a post-Senecan expression) all those worries about the "one thing necessary" (to use once more a later formula) has come into the world at an earlier time. THE AUTHORS ARE PLATO [c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.] AND THE STOA [see Addition 26, 1239-1241].

PAGE 1568


The most eloquent pupil [Plato c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.] of Socrates [c. 470 - 399 B.C.E.] created the basis of the theology to come. The attempts of the old philosophers, from Thales [c. 625 - c. 547 B.C.E.] to Democritus [c. 460 - c. 370 B.C.E.], to explain the creation of the world from the development of the real elements failed because of the weakness of the natural sciences and the power that the declining divine service of the Greeks still had in the course of its dissolution. It was left to a later world to resume once more the experiments of the Ionians and Democritus on the basis of a richer knowledge of the laws of nature and to replace theology with mechanics and physics. THE TWO THOUSAND-YEAR INTERIM WAS DOMINATED BY PLATO....' [35-37].



"We shall show that the wisdom of Seneca's sayings formed the first unifying point in a community in which the elements of a spiritual opposition to the Roman military dictatorship and to the government supported priesthood came together, and then, after it had interwoven with Jewish ideas, held its position as the beginning of a new entity. The fact[s] we present in the following lines will offer proof that Seneca's sayings not only circulated in the oral tradition and formed the stem on which grew the new structures, but also that the teachers of that Roman-Jewish community owed THE MASTER HIMSELF [SENECA] important inspirations and took from him [Seneca] stylistic constructions.


PAGE 1569


'Let us finally not omit (without a distracting look back on Heraclitus [c. 540 - c. 480 B.C.E.] and the older doctrine of the Stoa) to point out how SENECA, BY DEPICTING THE WORLD CONFLAGRATION THAT WOULD PRECEDE THE RENEWAL OF THE COSMOS, DELIVERED TO CHRISTIAN AUTHORS THE MATERIALS FOR THEIR PICTURE OF THE LAST JUDGMENT. "The world["], he writes (Ad Marciam, chpt. 26) ["]will in its transition to its restoration (se renovaturus) go up in flames, all will destroy itself through its own power, star will collide with star and all that is now in shining order will burn in a mass of fire." The same colors sparkle in the picture of the last judgment in the New Testament (2 Peter 3, 12-13): 'On the day of the Lord the heavens will dissolve with a bang, the earth and everything on it melt away in fire.' [54]. [See: 1566]. [See: 1614 (Seneca ("To Marcia On Consolation"))].

"his [Seneca] letter of consolation to Marcia (chpt. 25)...states that her departed son, before he ascends to the height of the blessed spirits, purifies himself (expurgator) in an interspace from the remainders and debilities of earthly life [see 1614]--from this emerged up to the end of the second century the doctrine of an intermediate condition of purification of the departed soul until it reaches the peace of the blessed, and later on the classic formula of Augustine [354 - 430]: ignis purgatorius (purgatory fire)." [54]. [See: 1614 (Seneca ("To Marcia On Consolation"))].

'While we leave this part of our work, some of our readers might still have on their tongue the question whether it was then a fact that the authors of several New Testament writings really had in their hands the letters and essays of Seneca.


When Paul in his letter to Titus, whom he had left behind in Crete to fight the seducers there, admonishes him to persevere, he points out to him the words of a Cretan poet who had said that his countrymen "are always liars, bad people and lazy stomachs." According to the church fathers who were still in possession of the relevant literature it is the Cretan Epimenides [fl. 6th century B.C.E.?] who paid this compliment to his countrymen in one of the mystical- philosophical poems attributed to him.' [54-55].

'Christian authors received counsel also from Plato. The saying with which the leaders of the first community twice justify themselves before the High Council in Jerusalem (Acts 4, 19. 5, 29): "One must obey God more than you," is borrowed verbatim from the speech of Socrates to his judges as reported in the "Apology" attributed to Plato, and just as the Athenian sage continues: "As long as I breathe, therefore, I shall not cease to dedicate myself to philosophy," the disciples of the Christian community also continue their preaching, unshaken after they were threatened by the High Council.' [55-56].

PAGE 1570


'But, one will object, Seneca is mentioned nowhere in the parallel passages of the New Testament. Neither is Plato when a basic passage is borrowed from him. Nor Philemon [c. 368 - c. 264 B.C.E.], the poet of the comic stage when, e.g. in 1 Timoth [Timothy] 2, 11-12, in his words the submission of woman to man is recommended, or Menander [342 - 292 B.C.E.] when in the question of the first letter to the Corinthians (6,7): "Why don't you rather suffer injustice" (instead of quarreling with each other at court)? the author has obviously in mind the saying of the master of the comic stage [Menander (see 1508)]: "He is the best among men who best knows how to suffer injustice."

Seneca could not be quoted for the simple reason that his Latin did not fit in with the literary contact carried on in Greek between Greece, Alexandria and Rome. Besides, WE HAVE IN THE ALLEGED PAULINE LETTERS A LATER LITERATURE that was preceded by a number of modulations on Greek and Latin basis that are still obvious to us in the first three gospels with the different types and attempts they have for their original base it can therefore be assumed with certainty [?] that the Roman-Jewish circle formed in Rome at the time of the Flavians was often involved in changing Seneca's treasures into the symbols of its own community and in spreading the wisdom of the new sayings also to Greece and the Orient through Jewish nomads and their outside contacts without the final compilers of these saying[s] knowing their first source [this paragraph seems abstruse. If so, the author? the translation (from the German of Bruno Bauer)? etc.?].' [56].

"the concurrence in style found between the main tenets of Seneca and the parallel passages in the NEW TESTAMENT remains in all these considerations a SURE PROOF that THE AUTHORS of these parallels like, e.g., the first ones with whom we began this chapter, HAD BEFORE THEIR OWN EYES THE WRITINGS OF THE ROMAN SAGE [SENECA]. Fleury compared only the parallels between Seneca's short sentences or key words and the Bible, but if one considers the stylistic form of composition and diction on both sides one will realize that, on the part of the Roman [Seneca], content and form develop as originals and have their natural motivation whereas in the New Testament given [plagiarized, etc.] material is sharpened to make new points."


"Seneca's Compromises"

"Seneca's contribution to religion was based on the combination of the unshakability of the Stoic sage [apparently, a generic "Stoic sage"], who was supported by Platonic ascetics, and the mild ideal of the sufferer tested in pain and shame, an ideal that flashed to him from the night of the civil wars. And in the fullness of his development he [Seneca] also made friends in a complete way with the morality of Epicurus [341 - 270 B.C.E.], a man, as he often puts it in his letters to Lucillius even if, figuratively speaking, he goes around in women's clothing. He [Seneca] needed the equanimity and the inner peace of this man [Epicurus] in order to reconcile himself and his friends completely with the withdrawal from the world and its doings." [60].


PAGE 1571


"The Paul of the Acts of the Apostles"

"he [Paul] still follows Peter's principle (Acts 3, 25. 26) that the message of the resurrected belongs first to the Jews. During his missionary travels he always addresses first the Jews, and their antagonism drives him forcefully to the gentiles. ONLY THE HATRED OF THE JEWS [see 1599 (Seneca)] AND THEIR STUBBORNNESS MAKES THE GOSPEL A PROPERTY OF THE NATIONS. They [nations] owe the new message to an accident. The Jews must first have made themselves disowned of salvation, and rendered salvation itself without a master, so that it can be transferred to the gentiles. In Rome too he follows this law of his mission, turns first to the Jews and threatens, after he saw the hearts of his clansmen hardened, that he will find an ear among the gentiles." [339-340].

"Conclusion of Peace Between Peter and Paul"

[Note: "Peter and Paul", not historical. Fictional characters!]

"Of the greatest importance is furthermore that ACCORDING TO THE SACRED ORIGINAL STORY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT NO ISRAELITES [persons] NOR JEWISH NAMES STAND OUT IN THE COMMUNITY. The names of the expanded circle of followers who in the alleged Pauline letters send and receive greetings are ROMAN OR GREEK. The Gnostics and apologists of the second century, men like Justinus [Justin Martyr c. 100 - c. 165] and Athenagoras [2nd cent. ("Greek Christian apologist")], are GREEKS or ROMANS. The legend of martyrs knows (according to the alleged apostolic blood witnesses) no Jews and from the time of Tertullian to the conversion of Saint Augustine [354 - 430] we hear nothing of important Jewish men who devote themselves to the service of the new church. From the days of Horace and Augustus to the highest point of unrest under Hadrian THE JEWS WERE AN IMPORTANT FERMENT BUT THE PRODUCTIVE STRENGTH CAME FROM THE ROMAN-GREEK CIRCLE [see (Greek): #5, 157-158; Addition 31, 1379; 1641-1643]." [352].


PAGE 1572


from: The Sources and Development of Christianity, by Thomas Lumisden Strange [1808 - 1884], Late a Judge of the High Court of Madras.

"Go to Agni, for he is nearer to thee than I am."--

Indra's reply to the supplication of Sunehsepha.

London: Trübner & Co., 57 and 59 Ludgate Hill, 1875. [Received, and first seen, 6/28/2000]. [I thank Daniel M. Tredwell (see Addition 26, 1214) for this author].

"By the same author. The Bible; Is It the Word of God?...The Speaker's Commentary Reviewed....The Development of Creation on the Earth....The Legends of the Old Testament. Traced to their Apparent Primitive Sources." [opposite title page].

"Contents." ["xv"]
"I.--The Era of Christianity."
"The absence of evidence to Christianity in the writings of Josephus 25" ["xv"].
[See: 1496].
"The writings of the Pagan authors 31
The alleged letter to Pliny to Trajan 32
The passage as to Nero's persecutions in Tacitus 34
The statement ascribed to Suetonius 36
None of these passages cover the facts alleged for Christianity 37" ["xv"].
"The Greek element in the Christian writings 56" [xvi].
[See: 1496, 1508, 1641-1643].

PAGE 1573

"II.--The Constituents of Christianity.
The projection of the advent of the Messiah 58     The Essene tenets of Oriental origin 89
The Christian appropriation of The Jewish Messiah 58     Etymology of the name of Essene 89
The Jewish character formed after the exile, and their hopes from that time in a Messiah 59     The Essenes associated with the Pythagoreans 90
The Christian representation raised on the downfall of the Jewish hopes 61     Christianity derivable from Essenism 90
Alexandria the probable field of the new religious movement 62     The religious principles enforced in Christianity already prevalent among the Jews and other people 90
The deification of the word and power of God 63     The precepts and example of Socrates 92
The Messiah as depicted in the book of Enoch 64     The Platonists, Pythagoreans, and Stoics 93
The studies and temperament of Philo Judaeus 65     The elements from these sources passed into Christianity 94
His delineation of the Logos 67     The materials for Christianity apparent in the writings of Philo 94
The Therapeuts and Essenes. The features in common to them and the Christians 68     Those occurring in the Jewish writings, and prominently in the Talmud [emphasis on sources] 96
The sources of the Essene beliefs 87     The natural resources from which Christianity was evolved 100
Antiquity of the Essenes and Therapeuts 88        
[note: commas, and leaders ("dots"), omitted]" [xvi]. [end of II.].

PAGE 1574

"V.--The Gentile Moulds of Christianity.
The forms of belief met with in Alexandria 190     Resources also found in Egyptian faiths 200
Facilities for adapting them to Christ 190          Mediation and atonement 201
Heroic personages who overcame evil or devoted themselves for the good of others 191     Judgment of the dead
[See: The Judgment of the Dead, S.G.F. Brandon, Scribner's, 1967]
     Bellerophon 191          The future state 201
     Perseus 191          The doctrine of a Trinity 202
     Theseus 192          The unity of the God-head 202
     Hercules 192          Osiris 202
     Metius Curtius 193          The doctrine of incarnations 203
     Menoeceus [see 1548-49] 192          The book of the dead 204
     Menippe and Metioche 193     The Egyptian elements of religion adaptable to the Christian creed 204
     Admetus and Alcestis 194     The Oriental beliefs 204
     Orpheus and Eurydice 194     The Buddhist canon 205
     Prometheus 194     The character of Buddhism 206
     Aesculapius, Pythagoras, and Plato 195     Nirvána, and belief in immortality 207
     Dionysus, Persephone, and Adonis 196     Correspondence of Buddhism with Christianity 208  
The Eleusinian mysteries 196     The history of Buddha 210
The Greek elements of religion adaptable to the Christian creed 197     The spread of Buddhism 211
The defences of the early Christians against the said adaptation 198     Buddhism known of to the early Christians 212

...." [xviii]. [See: 1496, 1641-1644].

PAGE 1575

'Philo engaged himself in setting forth the Jewish scriptures in a light more acceptable to minds philosophically governed as his own, than was presented by the bare features of the narratives of the Pentateuch. This he effected by an elaborate and very wilful system of allegorizing, substituting speculative moral conclusions for the facts of the text before him. The world was said to have been made in six days, because six is a perfect number in its parts and its entirety. This number represents orderly arrangement, such as creation calls for. The fourth day in which the heavens were "adorned" also involves a numerical perfection. The completed seven days have a very high numerical value, on which the author dilates copiously. The paradise in which the first human couple were placed, stocked with plants possessing the different virtues of the soul, was a symbolic representation rather than what was "strictly accurate." It typified "the dominant character of the soul, which is full of innumerable opinions as this figurative paradise was of trees." The serpent "is the symbol of pleasure, because in the first place he is destitute of feet, and crawls on his belly with his face downwards. In the second place, because he uses lumps of clay for food. Thirdly, because he bears poison in his teeth, by which it is his nature to kill those who are bitten by him," and so on. Working upon the Greek speculative philosophy with which he was imbued, he aimed at analyzing and delineating the attributes of the Almighty, giving them specific shape; and the exaltation of mind that ensued when the thoughts were let loose in this direction, he mistook for direct inspiration. In the present day we should know how to deal with a writer thus influenced, but Philo was addressing congenial spirits in an atmosphere suitable for the reception of his lucubrations [products of "laborious or intensive study", etc.]. That he should be attracted to the operations of the imaginary Grecian Logos, and model this object on a Jewish Messianic form, was a result natural to such a writer at such a time. But what becomes of the authority of the Christian canonical record, it must be asked, when we find the attributes of its central figure, in all their high and very remarkable specialties, anticipated and drawn by the pen of a fanciful writer, such as this, himself standing absolutely free of Christianity?

I take advantage of Mr Bryant's [see 1577] labours in presenting the following compendium of Philo's views of the Logos in their bearing upon the canonical representations [New Testament]. Philo states him [Logos [see 1561, 1564]] to be:

The Son of God (Mark i. 1; Luke iv. 41; John i. 34; Acts viii. 37).

The second Divinity (John i. 1).

The first-begotten of God (Heb. i. 5, 6; Col. i. 15).

The image and likeness of God (2 Cor. iv. 4; Col. i. 15; Heb. i. 3).

Superior to angels (Heb. i. 4, 6).

Superior to all things in the world (Heb. ii. 8).

The instrument by whom the world was made (John i. 3; 1 Cor. viii. 6; Col. i. 16; Heb. i. 2, 3, 10).

The substitute of God, upon whom all things depend (Eph. iii. 9).

The light of the world, and intellectual sun (John i. 4, 9; viii 12; 1 Pet. ii. 9).

The Logos only can see God (John i. 18; vi. 46).

He has God for his portion, and resides in him (John i. 1, 18; xiv. 11).

The most ancient of God's works, and before all things (John i. 2; xvii. 5, 24; 2 Tim. i. 9).

Esteemed the same as God (Mark ii. 7; Phil. ii. 6).

PAGE 1576

Eternal (John xii. 34).

He sees all things (Heb. iv. 12, 13; Rev. ii. 23).

He supports the world (John iii. 35; Col. i. 17; Heb. i. 3).

Nearest to God, nothing coming between to disturb that unity (John x. 30; xiv. 11; xvii. 11).

Free from all taint of sin, voluntary and involuntary (Heb. iv. 15; ix. 14; 1 Pet. ii. 22).

Presiding over the imperfect (Luke v. 32; 1 Tim. 1. 15).

The fountain of wisdom, to which all should diligently repair, that by drinking from that sacred spring they may, instead of death, obtain everlasting life (John iv. 14; vii. 37, 38; 1 Cor. i. 24; Col. ii. 3).

A messenger sent by God to man (John v. 36; viii. 29, 42; 1 John iv. 9).

The advocate and intercessor for mortal man (John xiv. 16; xvii. 20; Rom. viii. 34; Heb. vii. 25; 1 John ii. 1).

He ordered and disposed of all things (Col. i. 15, 16; Heb. xi. 3).

The Shepherd of God's flock (John x. 14; Heb. xiii. 20; 1 Pet. ii. 25).

Possessed of creative and princely power (1 Cor. xv. 25; Eph. i. 21, 22; Rev. xvii. 14).

The Physician that heals all evil (Matt. ix. 12; Luke iv. 18; vii. 21; 1 Pet. ii 24).

The Seal of God (John vi. 27; Eph. i. 13).

The sure refuge, to whom, before all others, we ought to seek (Matt. xi. 28; 1. Pet. ii. 25).

The heavenly nutriment of the soul (Matt. v. 6; John vi. 51, 53).

The instrument of spiritual liberty (John viii. 36; 1 Cor. vii. 22; 2 Cor. iii. 17; Gal. v. 1, 13).

Who frees men from corruption, and entitles them to immortality (Rom. viii. 21; 1 Cor. xv. 52, 53; 1 Pet. i. 3, 4).

God's beloved Son (Matt. iii. 17; Luke ix. 35; Col. i. 13).

Through whom the well-disposed disciples of God will be one day translated to an incorruptible and perfect order of beings (Rom. viii. 17; Eph. i. 11; Col. i. 12; 1 Pet. i. 4).

By whom the just man, not given over to utter death, shall be raised and brought near to God in heaven (John vi. 44; xii. 26; xiv. 1-6).

The true High Priest, without sin, and anointed with oil (John i. 41; viii. 46; Acts iv. 27; Heb. iv. 14; vii. 26; 1 Pet. ii. 22).

The Mediator (1 Tim. ii. 5; Heb. viii. 1-6; ix. 11, 12, 24).

Bryant on Philo, 107-154.' [66-68]. [See: 1578-1579].

["Bryant, Jacob, 1715 - 1804. The sentiments of Philo Judeus concerning the logos, or word of God; : together with large extracts from his writings compared with the scriptures on many other particular and essential doctrines of the Christian religion", Jacob Bryant, Cambridge; London, 1797. [from: University of California, catalog ("Melvyl")]].


PAGE 1577


'The Jews of Alexandria became indoctrinated with the Greek philosophy, the imaginative system of the orientals, and the views of Pythagoras and Plato, which ingredients through them passed into Christianity (Reuss, Hist. de la Theo. Chrèt., 104-106). The writings of Philo awakened a profound interest in the teachings of Socrates and Plato in the Jewish world and among the primitive Christians (Young, Christ of Hist., 159, 160). Philo considered the flesh the seat of original sin, warring against the soul, the spirit of God ever arousing the soul to resist the invasions of sin. He recognized two classes of men, those who lived in the flesh, and those who lived in the spirit. The sin of Adam was the source of misery and death to his descendants. The soul was to be fed at first with milk and plain nourishment, and afterwards with strong meat. Almost in the language of Heb. ix. he [Philo] describes Abraham as seeking a better country which God would give him, and finding his reward in regarding the things that are not as though they were [compare: faith; negation]. Righteousness he [Philo] held to be the gift of God to man, not of debt, but of grace. Faith, hope, and love ruled before him [who is "him"? "Righteousness"?]. Faith was the substance of things hoped for, but the highest attribute was love. He [Philo] compressed the law into two great commandments, and spoke of "the stewards of the divine mysteries," of "the true riches," and of "hungering and thirsting after righteousness." He furthermore treated of a Holy Ghost, of a first and second Adam, of the faith of Abraham, and of bread, which came down from heaven (Prof. Jowett, The Epistles of Paul, I. 494-514). Philo viewed God as one whom we should love, serve, and imitate in holiness. He rewards humility and punishes pride. The happiness of man is his union with God, and his misery is the being separated from him. Men can pray only as he teaches them. We are not to hurt our enemies or avenge ourselves on them. It is better to suffer wrong than to do it. God is the sole cause of good, and cannot be the cause of evil. The love of our neighbours should be founded on our love of God. The world is nothing but corruption, and we should fly from it to cleave to God who is alone our health and life. In this world we are surrounded by enemies with whom we have continually to combat so as to endure. We cannot conquer but by God or angels sent for our help.


[in part, a PROTO-DEUS EX MACHINA (see 1509)]

[in part, a PROTO-JESUS [JESUS (WAS) IS A DEUS EX MACHINA (see 1509, 1564)]]

[see 1561, 1564, (Logos)]


(E.P. Meredith, The Prophet of Nazareth, 437, citing M. Dancier).


PAGE 1578



IV. 223, 243, 244, 250, 263, 266, 274. Philo put the Deity before him in that paternal aspect in which the Christian scriptures represent him. "There is no form of address," he observes, "with which a king can more appropriately be saluted than the name of father " (Matt. xi. 27; John i. 18; iv. 23; vi. 46; x. 38; xiv. 6, 11). He recognized the working of the conscience as a divine instrument used for the governance of mankind. "The mind," he says, "is the witness to each individual of the things which they have planned in secret, and conscience is an incorruptible judge, and the most unerring of all judges." "Who is there who does wrong who is not convicted by his own conscience, as if he were in a court of justice, even though no man correct him?" (Rom. ii. 14-16; viii. 27 1 Cor. ii.; 10; Rev. ii. 23). The warfare between God and the world was with him as the struggles of light with darkness" (John i. 5; viii. 12; xii. 46; Rom. xiii. 12; 2 Cor. iv. 6; vi. 14; Eph. v. 8; 1 Thess. v. 5; 1 John i. 5-7). "It is as impossible," he declares, "that the love of the world can co-exist with the love of God, as for light and darkness to co-exist at the same time with one another" (John viii. 23; xv. 18, 19; xvi. 33; xvii. 14, 16, 25; xviii. 36; Gal. vi. 14; James iv. 4; 1 John ii. 15-17; iii. 1; v. 4, 5). The future state and its unknown glories were before him. He could speak of one who "dies as to this mortal life, but still lives, having received in exchange a life of immortality" (Rom. vii. 9; 1 Cor. xv. 22, 31; 2 Cor. v. 15; vi. 9; Phil. i. 21), wherein "perhaps he will see what he never saw before" (Rom. viii. 24, 25; 1 Cor. ii. 9; 2 Cor. iv. 18; Heb. xi. 1). He apprehended that it required a mediator to allow of God dealing with the material creation. "The things of creation are far removed from the uncreated God, even though they are brought into close proximity following the attractive mercies of the Saviour" (John i. 3; Eph. iii. 9; Col. i. 16; Heb. i. 2). Disallowing the efficacy of the Jewish ordinances, he exclaims, "What can be a real sacrifice except the piety of a soul devoted to the love of God?" (Rom. xii. 1; Heb. x. 5-7). "Since God," he concludes, "penetrates invisibly in the region of the soul, let us prepare that region in the best manner that we are able to, or rather that it may be a habitation fit for God; otherwise, without our being aware of it, God will depart and remove to some other abode" (1 Cor. iii. 16, 17; vi. 19; 2 Cor. vi. 16; Eph. ii. 22).

Springing out of Judaism, it is natural to expect that the older system should have provided materials that might find their way into the new [Christianism ("Christianity")], and such certainly has been the case. The change wrought in the character of the Jews, after their return from the Babylonish captivity, introduced among them religious sentiments and aspirations which readily passed into the workings of the religious life aimed at by the Christians, so that the devotional elements of Christianity, fed from all sources to that time prevailing among the seriously disposed in the surrounding nations, found fixed aims and persuasions, and peculiar methods of expression, in the forms current among their elder brethren the Jews.' [94-97]. [See: 1506-1518 (Shires)].


PAGE 1579


from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, by Various Writers. Edited by William Smith, In Three Volumes--Vol. III., AMS, 1967 (reprint of 1890 edition) ("1844-49").

["Seneca, L. Annaeus" c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] 'People will judge of Seneca, as they do of most moral writers, by the measure of their own opinions. The less a man cares for the practical, the real, the less will he value Seneca. The more a man envelops himself in words and ideas without exact meaning, the less will he comprehend a writer who does not merely deal in words, but has ideas with something to correspond to them. Montaigne [1533 - 1592] (Defence of Seneca and Plutarch) says: "the familiarity I have had with these two authors, and the assistance they have lent to my age and to my book, which is wholly compiled of what I have borrowed from them, obliges me to stand up for their honour." In another place (Essay of Books) he compares Seneca and Plutarch [c. 46 - after 119 C.E.] in his usual lively way: his opinion of the philosophical works of Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] is not so favourable as of Seneca's; and herein many people will agree with him [Montaigne: see 1590, 1614]. The judgment of Ritter (Geschichte der Philosophie, vol. iv, p. 189) is a curious specimen of criticism. If Diderot [Denis Diderot 1713 - 1784] is extravagant in his praise of Seneca, Ritter and others are equally extravagant in their censure. Ritter finds contradictions in Seneca; and such we may expect in a man who lived the life that he did. We cannot suppose that his conscience always approved of his acts. A practical philosopher, who has lived in the world, must often have done that which he would wish undone; and the contradiction which appears between a man's acts and his principles will appear in his writings....


'SENECA, like other educated Romans, rejected the superstition of his country: he LOOKED UPON THE CEREMONIALS OF RELIGION AS A MATTER OF CUSTOM AND FASHION, AND NOTHING MORE. His religion is simple Deism: The Deity acts in man and in all things; which is the same thing that Paul said when he addressed the Athenians, "for in him (God) we live and move and have our being" (Acts, xvii. 28). Indeed there have been persons who, with the help of an active imagination, have made Seneca a Christian, and to have been acquainted with Paul, which is a possible thing, but cannot be proved. THE RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN MANY PASSAGES IN SENECA AND PASSAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS [ARE] MERELY AN ACCIDENTAL CIRCUMSTANCE[S] [?]. Similar resemblances occur in the Meditations [written in Greek] [167 C.E.] [another source, and/or rewriting source, for the New Testament? Do not be beguiled by the dates for Marcus Aurelius Antoninus] [see 1536 ("moral instruction")] of the Emperor Marcus [Aurelius] Antoninus [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] [famous Stoic philosopher]. The fourteen letters of Seneca to Paul, which are printed in the old editions of Seneca, are apocryphal....'

[782] [George Long, Cambridge].


PAGE 1580


from: A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines; During The First Eight Centuries. William Smith, Henry Wace, AMS, 1967 (1877-1887).

["Seneca, Lucius Annaeus" [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] 'The great popularity of Seneca as a writer in his own day is attested by Quintilian [c. 35 - c. 100 C.E.] [see 1587, 1601, 1609] (Inst. Or. x. 1, Section 128), who, however, finds some fault with his style. In later times, among the Christian fathers, there gradually grew up a belief that he was almost, if not quite, a Christian. Bishop Lightfoot [Joseph Barber Lightfoot 1828 - 1889] gives a compendious account of the growth of this belief, which may be quoted. "The earliest of the Latin fathers, Tertullian [c 160 - c. 225], writing about a century and a half after the death of SENECA, speaks of this philosopher as 'OFTEN OUR OWN' (Tertull. de Anim 20). Some two hundred years later St. Jerome [c. 347 - c. 420], having occasion to quote him, omits the qualifying adverb and calls him broadly 'OUR OWN SENECA' (adv. Jovin. i. 49). Living midway between these two writers, Lactantius [c. 240 - 320] points out several coincidences with the teaching of the gospel in the writings of Seneca, whom, nevertheless, he styles 'the most determined of the Roman Stoics' (Div. Inst. i. 5). From the age of St. Jerome, Seneca was commonly regarded as standing on the very threshold of the Christian church, even if he had not actually passed within its portals. In one ecclesiastical council at least, held at Tours in the year 567, his authority is quoted with a deference generally accorded only to fathers of the church. And


(Bp. Lightfoot on the Epistle to the Philippians, p. 268.) The belief in the Christianity of Seneca was largely increased if not caused by that collection of letters, purporting to have been exchanged between him and St. Paul, which was current first, as far as we know, in the time of Jerome (who certainly seems, on the whole, to have believed in their genuineness), and which is extant in our own day. The letters contain nothing worthy of either of their reputed authors, and are now universally (and no doubt justly) held to be spurious. They were, however, very popular in the middle ages....'

[610] [John Rickards Mozley, Cambridge].

PAGE 1581


from: The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Paul Edwards, Editor in Chief, Volume Seven, Macmillan, 1967.

"Seneca, Lucius Annaeus" [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.]

'Seneca's primary aim is to persuade us to act and think rightly, not to prove that certain ethical propositions are true. To achieve this, he depicts with extreme vividness the benefits of virtue and the disadvantages of vice. He is at his best when enlarging upon the disastrous effects of the emotions. Pain, pleasure, fear, desire--all are equally to be avoided. He examines with almost clinical precision the vicious effect of the passions on men and then proceeds to explain how they may be brought under control and finally conquered, illustrating his argument with a wealth of examples, cautionary or encouraging.

This method obviously does not lend itself to the exposition of an all-embracing and coherent philosophical system. Indeed, lack of consistency and logical development both between different works and within the same work, have long been major criticisms of Seneca. This cannot be denied, but it can be explained. Seneca was a practical moral teacher, a kind of spiritual guide or father confessor to his friends. In a favorite metaphor, he was a "physician" of the soul. Thus, he concentrates on particular moral or psychological problems (he would not have distinguished between them) and provides particular answers to suit both the problem and the person who raises it. The stance taken and the arguments produced vary according to the stage in the Stoic faith which his questioner has reached. This practical aim is brought out in his emphasis on the value of moral "progress [see 1625]." This was an early modification in Stoic teaching which Seneca eagerly adopted. While not deserting the fundamental and austere concept of the true "Sage," it recognized the importance and relative moral worth of determined effort to attain that ideal, thus bridging the abyss between the perfect "Sage" and the great mass of "fools," a compromise vital to Seneca's practical aims.

Seneca has nothing to offer the philosopher who studies the structure of language or intellectual processes, but the acuteness of his psychological insights and the sanity of his particular moral advice make him of the greatest interest to those concerned with the human heart and its strivings after virtue.'

[406-407] [(excepting Bibliography) End of entry] [James R.G. Wright].


PAGE 1582


from: Gian Biagio Conte, Latin Literature, A History, Translated by Joseph B. Solodow, Revised by Don Fowler and Glenn W. Most, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994 (Italian 1987).

"The impetus to compose philosophical letters addressed to friends probably came to Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] from Plato [c. 428 - 348 or 347 B.C.E.] and especially from Epicurus [341 - 270 B.C.E.]." [414].

[compare: "letters" (epistles) of "St. Paul"].

"5. The Tragedies

The tragedies occupy an important place in Seneca's writings. Nine are generally regarded as authentic (doubts remain only about the Hercules Oetaeus), all on subjects from Greek mythology. And yet we know very little about them, about the circumstances of their actual performance or the date of their composition...." [416].

"Seneca's are the only Latin tragedies to have come down to us complete. Apart from this, which makes them valuable witnesses to an entire literary genre, they are also important as documents of the revival of Latin tragic drama, which took place after the scarcely successful attempts of Augustan cultural policy to promote a rebirth of theatrical activity (one event in this program was the production in 29 B.C. of Varius's Thyestes, in which the anti-tyrannical polemic embodied in the subject may have had Antony for its target). In the Julio-Claudian period and in the beginning of the Flavian period, until the Flavians reformed the Senate socially and thereby altered its political attitude as well, the intellectual senatorial elite seems actually to have turned to tragic drama--Persius [34 - 62 C.E.], Lucan [39 - 65 C.E.], and others had written tragedies--as the literary form most suitable for expressing its opposition to the regime (Latin tragedy, taking up and glorifying an aspect already basic to classical Greek tragedy, had always been strongly influenced by republicanism and the hatred of tyranny)." [417].

'In the case of nearly all of Seneca's tragedies, as was said, we have the corresponding Greek [tragedies] originals; through comparison we can assess his stance towards them. Compared with the stance taken by the early Latin tragedians, Seneca's shows greater independence (after the great age of Augustus, Latin literature no longer limits itself to "translating," but regards itself as equal to Greek, in free rivalry with it), and yet at the same time it presupposes a continuous relation with the original, which Seneca contaminates, restructures, and rationalizes in its dramatic approach. The relation with the Greek originals, even though direct, is mediated nonetheless through the filter of Latin taste and the Latin tradition....' [419].

PAGE 1583


from: Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean, Greece and Rome, Edited by Michael Grant and Rachel Kitzinger, Three Volumes, Volume III, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.


"More than any other ancient philosophical writer, Seneca insists that slaves are fellow human beings, who should be treated with the same respect as any other human being. Insofar as we are subject to passion, Seneca argues, we are the real slaves, not the persons who have been bought." [1644].

"Although Seneca has enjoyed great popularity over the centuries, his reputation has been clouded by the charge of hypocrisy. He claims in his writings that virtue is the supreme and indeed only good, and that wealth and power make no difference to happiness; and he extols poverty and the simple life. Yet Seneca seems to have been strangely tolerant of Nero's murders and other abuses and he himself secured great power and amassed great wealth. In defense of Seneca, it may be said that he used his influence at court to curb Nero's excesses and left the court when he could no longer do so. Seneca's praise of the simple life, moreover, seems sincere. Seneca suffered a long period of deprivation when he was in exile, and he knew that he might at any time be deprived of all his influence and possessions. He prepares and consoles himself for this eventuality by contending that adversity is not an evil." [1644-1645]. [See: 1609; etc.].

[See (some "defense" of Seneca, via the words of Seneca): Seneca Moral Essays ["Dialogues" (xi)] [see 1614], "To Gallio ["elder brother of Seneca" (98), mentioned in Acts 18:12-17 [see 1586, 1588, 1595]] On the Happy Life" (98-179)].

"SENECA WAS THE LAST MAJOR ROMAN WRITER OF THE PAGAN ERA TO WRITE PHILOSOPHY IN LATIN. The period of pagan Latin philosophical writing was short, but fruitful. Lucretius [c. 100-90 - c. 55-53 B.C.E.] gave the impetus with his poetry, and Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] and Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] responded by developing a philosophical rhetoric in prose. Each of the three writers succeeded in creating a distinctively Roman philosophy, having relevance to Roman society." [1646] [End of entry]

PAGE 1584


from: Seneca in English, Edited by Don Share, Penguin, 1998.

"Lucius Annaeus Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], statesman, philosopher, advocate and man of letters, was born at Cordoba in Spain around 4 BC. He rose to prominence in Rome, pursuing a career in the courts and political life, for which he had been trained, while also acquiring celebrity as an author of tragedies and essays. Falling foul of successive emperors (Caligula in AD 39 and Claudius in AD 41), he spent eight years in exile, allegedly for an affair with Caligula's sister. Recalled in AD 49, he was made praetor and was appointed tutor to the boy who was to become, in AD 54, the emperor Nero. On Nero's [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68) succession, Seneca acted for some eight years as an unofficial chief minister. The early part of this reign was remembered as a period of sound government, for which the main credit seems due to Seneca. His control over Nero declined as enemies turned the emperor against him with representations that his popularity made him a danger, or with accusations of immorality or excessive wealth. Retiring from public life he devoted his last three years to philosophy and writing, particularly the Letters to Lucilius. In AD 65, following the discovery of a plot against the emperor, in which he was thought to be implicated, he and many others were compelled by Nero to commit suicide. His fame as an essayist and dramatist lasted until two or three centuries ago, when he passed into literary oblivion, from which the twentieth century has seen a considerable recovery." ["i"].

"Envied by Caligula [Emperor 37 - 41 (12 - 41)], exiled by Claudius [Emperor 41 - 54 (10 B.C.E. - 54 C.E.)] and finally executed by his pupil Nero, the playwright and philosopher Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) wrote in a violent, epigrammatic and extreme style which has often seemed excessive to those living in calmer times.

Yet it was from him [Seneca] that Shakespeare [1564 - 1616] and his contemporaries adapted some of the crucial elements of their tragedies: the general atmosphere of lust, fatalism and murder; the vengeful ghosts crying out for blood; the heroes facing death with unflinching resolve; even the basic five-act structure. His works were imitated by writers ranging from Jonson to Johnson, from Milton to Marvell, and, in our own turbulent century, they have also inspired T.S. Eliot, Robert Lowell and Ted Hughes. This superb selection of translations, adaptations and variations opens in the 1550s, focuses on the Renaissance and closes in the 1990s, vividly demonstrating Seneca's powerful, continuing presence in English poetry." [back cover].

PAGE 1585


from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 1997.

"Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 BC-AD 65), Roman moralist and tragic poet. The son of a rhetorician of Córdoba, prob. of Italian descent, he embarked on a senatorial career at Rome, but was banished by the Emp. Claudius to Corsica (41-9) and then, through the influence of the Empress Agrippina, recalled to become tutor to her son, the future Emp. *Nero. After Nero's accession in 54, Seneca was the chief adviser of state, but he lost favour, retired from public life in 62, and in 65 he was charged with complicity in Piso's conspiracy and forced to take his own life.

His [Seneca] brother *Gallio [c. 5 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] (q.v.) is mentioned in Acts 18:12

[Acts 18:12-17 [see 1584, 1588] (this is very amusing! compare: "the Passion narratives of Mt 27; Mk 15; Lk 23; Jn 18-19." (Dict. Bible, McKenzie, 677)).

Dramatis personae ("cast of characters") (in these ["the Passion narratives"; Acts] formulas for Fictions!):

"Jesus [a Fictional character]"; "Paul [a Fictional character]": "good guys" (pushing their religious business [see 1599 (Augustine); etc.]).

Jews: "bad guys".

Pilate (Prefect); Gallio (Proconsul): beleaguered Roman officials ("just trying to do their jobs")].

Seneca was the author of several surviving tragedies, prob. of the Apocolocyntosis (a skit on the *apotheosis ["deification", etc.] [see Addition 21, 1078-1079, 1082, 1085-1086, 1091, 1104] of the late Emp. Claudius), of essays couched as letters to his friend Lucilius [? (see 1615-1624)], and of various treatises (some now lost); both the treatises and the letters are mostly concerned with ethics, but some bear on physics, psychology, and logic. Seneca was a professed Stoic, though he took some ideas from other schools, and his writings are one of the chief sources of our knowledge of Stoicism. Both ancient and modern critics have contrasted their moral austerity with his life as a very rich man and a courtier ready to preserve his influence by compromise. Apart from his letters, perhaps the most notable of his writings are the De Clementia, outlining his ideal of the good emperor, and the De Beneficiis, which examines in detail our duty to do good to others and to requite benefits received. The Stoic morality which he mediated has often since *Lactantius [c. 240 - 320] been compared and contrasted with that of Christianity.

There is also in existence an apocryphal correspondence of 14 letters between Seneca (8 letters) and St *Paul (6 letters). Their commonplace manner and colourless style show that they cannot be the work either of the moralist or of St Paul. They are prob. the same letters as those known to St *Jerome [c. 347 - c. 420] (De Vir. III. 12), who on the strength of them reckons Seneca a Christian, and to St *Augustine [354 - 430] (Ep. 153. 14), though some critics have denied the identification and assigned the extant letters to a much later date. The oldest MSS date from the 9th cent., and the text is transmitted in a corrupt state." [1482] [Bibliography follows].


PAGE 1586


from: Seneca the Philosopher and His Modern Message, Richard Mott Gummere, Cooper Square Publishers, 1963.

'He [Seneca] is, without doubt, one of the world's wise men, as Emerson [Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882] testifies: "Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your reading have been to you like the blast of triumph out of Shakespeare [see 1585], Seneca, Moses, John and Paul."' [xvi].

'By the year 60, therefore, SENECA [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] WAS, in the words of the Elder Pliny [23 - 79 C.E.], "THE LEADER IN LETTERS AND THE LEADER IN GOVERNMENT." He [SENECA] INTERPRETED THE LAWS AND ADMINISTERED THE [ROMAN] STATE, wisely leaving military matters to his trusted friend Burrus

["Burrus, Sextus Afranius (d. AD 62), praetorian prefect (51-62) and, with Seneca, the chief adviser of the Roman emperor Nero (reigned 54-68)." (Encyc. Brit.)].' [23].

"II. Seneca: His Influence

Upon Pagan Rome

Mr. Ferrero [Guglielmo Ferrero 1871 - 1943] has frequently pointed out the resemblance between the early Roman Empire and the United States of to-day [see: Ancient Rome and Modern America, Guglielmo Ferrero, 1914]. He has shown how their finance, commerce, public works, public opinion, and, along certain lines, government, bear a similar relation to one another, and to the community at large. Society was cosmopolitan and yet uniform; opinion was more or less traditional. We shall see that Seneca ran contrary to, or ahead of, current ideas in his philosophy, in his style, and in his view of the state,--that he was a popular figure in these activities and yet provoked opposition among those who accepted the old order as worth continuing. Hence at first he was a sort of east wind among the sluggish thinkers of his time. But he knew his Rome better than most native-born Romans knew her. He took the encyclopaedic, the eclectic view. He [Seneca] felt the pulse of coming ages better than court rhetoricians (though he was one himself), better than historians, better than the conservatives of his day...." [31-32].

"Seneca adapted the language of the business world to the artificial style of the scholar and man of letters.

It was exactly this habit to which three of his critics objected. One was a college professor [Quintilian c. 35 - c. 100 C.E. (see 1581, 1601, 1609)], one an antiquary, and one a courtier,--all of them professionals, so to speak. Seneca was an amateur [?]." [33].

'Seneca was a Stoic, and STOICISM WAS THE PORCH [STOA? (see Addition 26, 1239-1241)] TO CHRISTIANITY [see 1568]. Then, as now, it was the thought-force that lay nearest to our inspirational religion. It was Stoicism which made the Christian fathers claim Seneca as one of their own, which made St. Paul quote [Acts 17:28] Aratus [fl. c. 315 - c. 245 B.C.E. (Macedonia) (] to the Athenians as one "in whom we live and move and have our being."' [54].

PAGE 1587

"Cousin [probably, M. Victor Cousin 1792 - 1867] tells us that ALL PHILOSOPHIES CHANGE IN A REGULAR CYCLE OF SENSATIONALISM, IDEALISM, SCEPTICISM, AND MYSTICISM. The essence of the Stoic philosophy is its combination of these four phases, and this explains its consequent lasting power [compare: the "lasting power" of Christianism ("Christianity")]." [55-56].

'The allusions, in Seneca's Epistles alone, to a single deity, would be sufficient to strike a Church Father with a kinship of common interests and beliefs. Many a Pagan philosopher had made God more unified and personal. Epictetus [c. 55 - c. 135 C.E.] had said: "God is within, and your daemon is within," often bearing witness to concentrated divinity rather than to the polytheism of his predecessors. Plato [c. 428 - 348 or 347 B.C.E.] himself tended in that direction: Socrates [c. 470 - 399 B.C.E.] and his Holy Guide are very near to the Christian soul. But Seneca said the same thing in a manner which these Romans could understand and apply: "God is near you, he is with you....A holy spirit indwells within us, one who marks our good and bad deeds, and is our guardian." Or, "Why should you not believe that something of divinity exists in one who is a part of God? All this universe which encompasses us is one, and it is God; we are associates of God; we are his members:"--fundamental Stoic doctrine no doubt, but clothed in Christian language [No! Not "Christian language"! The language of Seneca!]....' [65].

"Many...early Christians, scholars trained in the classic school, felt the charm of the old pagan writings, as St. Augustine [354 - 430] [see 1591-1599], for example, was ravished by the beauty of Cicero's [106 - 43 B.C.E.] [see #2, 19, 104.] Hortensius and by the romance of Dido's [from the Aeneid of Virgil (possible Phoenician origins) (for a superb discussion, including reference to the Virgin Mary, see: Myth, Facts On File, c1996, 150-152)] tragic end. Minucius Felix [died c. 250], the first Roman who holds a literary brief for Christianity, consciously and unconsciously echoes Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.]; and Lactantius [c. 240 - 320] patterns one of his themes upon the opening of the De Providentia, wherein the world-old question is discussed: why the wise man who is captain of his own soul is compelled to suffer affliction while the baser sort go scot-free. This question had been asked by Job and the Psalmist, and repeated itself down through Fénelon and the great French preachers. It was Seneca's modern and forward-looking note that appealed to the early Church; and that is perhaps why they passed over the heads of pagan saints like Epictetus [c. 50 - c. 130] and selected our philosopher [Seneca] as their advocate in the foreign ranks." [66-67].

'Another connection is Seneca's brother Gallio [c. 5 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], the Gallio of Acts 18, 11 [12]-17 [see 1584, 1586, 1595],

who on a famous occasion decided that "these matters were out of his province." the gentle and popular Gallio, Governor of the Greek province of Achaia from 51 to 52 A.D., presided at the court before which St. Paul appeared as a defendant, accused of illegal religious practices.' [69].

PAGE 1588

'Before proceeding to outline further the influence of this versatile Spanish Roman [Seneca] upon later generations I shall quote his famous lines13 ["13. Ad Paul. de Brev. Vit. ["Ad Pavlinvm De Brevitae Vitae" ("To Paulinus ["Paulinus was praefectus annonae, the official who superintended the grain supply of Rome" (see 1614, Basore, 286)] on the Shortness of Life"), 14 f." [142]] upon the joy of reading:

[Seneca] "The only men in the world who are really at leisure, and really living, are those devoted to the study of wisdom. Indeed, they are not only guardians of their own careers, but they are adding all eternity to their store; whatever years have gone before them, are to be counted as their property. And unless we are most unappreciative, those noble pioneers in high thinking were born for our benefit and fashioned their lives for our sakes. We are brought to consider things of the greatest worth which have been dug up from darkness into daylight by the effort of others; to no period of history are we forbidden access, and we are admitted everywhere. If by greatness of soul we may pass beyond the narrow confines of human frailty, we have unlimited time through which we may course. We may share in the thoughts of all philosophers. And since the universe allows us to go into partnership with all the ages, why, in this tiny and fleeting state of transition should we not give ourselves wholeheartedly to the things which are unbounded, eternal, and to be shared with our betters?...Shall we not say that men are engaged upon real duties who wish to be on the most intimate terms with the thinkers of past ages? Every one of these will give you his attention; every one of these will send you away happier and more devoted; no one of them will allow you to depart empty-handed from his presence. They can be found by night or by day, and by anyone who wishes.

"None of them will compel you to die, and yet all of them can teach you how to die. None will wear your life out, but will give their own lives to you. It will not harm you to chat with them, nor will their friendship mean death to you or their association expense to you. Gifts they will give you,--whatever you will; they will not be responsible for your satisfaction being less than your craving. What happiness and what a noble old age abides for one who has given himself into their patronage! He will have friends with whom to converse on things small or great, whom he may call into council daily, from whom he may hear the truth without insult, praise without flattery, according to whose image he may pattern himself.

"These souls will show you the path to immortality and will raise you to heights from which no one is cast down....Anything will be destroyed by the flight of time; but harm can never come to that which wisdom has hallowed."' [78-80].

[See: 1590 (Osler)].

"It is therefore on grounds of great sympathy, as well as through resemblance to Christian sentiments [which came first: the sentiments of Seneca, or, the sentiments of proto-Christians? My guess: Seneca!], that the church

[meaning? My guess: some people "embraced Seneca"] embraced Seneca. He had approached the theme of sin and suffering and righteousness in a more human spirit than Cicero's sages or indeed than any leader of previous pagan philosophy and religion, save only Socrates [c. 470 - 399 B.C.E.]." [80]. [End of chapter III].

PAGE 1589

'We have seen enough to draw a conclusion regarding the qualities of Seneca which appealed to pioneers in thought and in religion. The Roman moralist [Seneca] had been singled out by the early church as a pagan champion of Christianity; he was taken over by them as a kindred spirit, as one whose flexible catholicity pointed forward to ages unborn rather than backward to classical models. We note his appeal to Dante [1265 - 1321] the medieval leader, to Chaucer [c. 1342 - 1400] the first modern Englishman, to Petrarch [1304 - 1374] the apostle of humanism. And all this, much as it is, takes second place when compared with the ways in which he [Seneca] is regarded by Montaigne [1533 - 1592] [see 1580, 1614],


'Dr. Osler [Sir William Osler 1849 - 1919], also, joins the throng of Senecans by echoing [?] the famous passage, already quoted [see 1589], on the joys of reading: "If you are fond of books, you will escape the ennui of life; you will neither sigh for evening, disgusted with the occupations of the day, nor will you live dissatisfied with yourself or unprofitable to others."' [135].


"6. A summary of the most important testimony regarding Seneca may be found as follows: Pliny, N.H., 14. 4; 14. 51. Columella, R.R., 3.3. Juvenal, 5. 109, etc. Ausonius, p. 361 (ed. Peiper). Fronto (ed. Naber) pp. 123, 155-8, 224. Quintilian, 10. 1. 125. Gellius, Noct. Att., 12. 2. 2 ff. Plutarch, Moral., 3. 201 and Galba, 20. Boethius, Cons. Phil., 1 Pref. 3. Macrobius, Sat., 1. 11. 7 ff. A complete story is found in Tacitus, Ann. 12. 8; 13. 2, 5 ff., 25, 28 ff., 42; 14. 52 ff.; 15. 45, 60 ff. Cf. also Dio, 59. 19; 61. 3-4, etc,; and Suetonius, Calig., Claud., and Nero. Suetonius is now accessible in the Loeb Library, translated by J.C. Rolfe; Dio, in the same series, by E. Cary, is forthcoming." [141].

PAGE 1590


from: Augustine [354 - 430] and The Latin Classics, 2 Volumes in 1 Volume, Harald Hagendahl, ACTA Universitatis Gothoburgensis, Göteberg, 1967.


This is a work of philological research on Augustine's knowledge and use of profane Latin literature. I should like to lay stress on the limitation implied in the title. It is beyond my scope to enter upon a discussion of theological and philosophical questions, unless they are so connected with the subject as to make a reference indispensable." ["9"].

"Augustine's culture was from beginning to end almost exclusively Latin.1) [ ) = this author's method of footnoting] As a student and teacher of rhetoric he lived, up to the age of 32, in the literary tradition cherished in the pagan school in the West; it formed his intellect and left too deep an impression for it ever to be obliterated. For a right understanding of Augustine the thinker, writer and controversialist, it is, then, essential to establish, as accurately as possible, his knowledge of profane Latin authors and works. This is also to be desired from another point of view.



Augustine became, before any other Father of the Western Church, a founder of the Christian culture of the Middle Ages. Hence his attitude towards the old cultural tradition takes shape as a historical problem of great importance." ["9"-10].

"My work is divided into two volumes, the first containing the testimonies, the second dealing with Augustine's attitude towards the authors and their works."


"Without anticipating my results in general, I should like to make a reserve on one point. Scholars mostly consider Augustine, who was at the same time an upholder of the tradition of classical culture and the foremost representative of Western Christianity, as the central figure in the process of bringing about a compromise and conciliation between the two. Judging exclusively from Augustine's attitude towards the Latin authors, I have come to the conclusion that his importance as an intermediary was less considerable than is generally held. But I lay stress on the fact that I do not intend to give my views on the question in its entirety, the less so as the most important factor, the influence of Neo-Platonic [see 1540] thought, is beyond the scope of this work.

PAGE 1591


Finally I mention a question of great consequence that claims our attention. [first] Did Augustine live all his life on reminiscences of what he learned in his young days, as some scholars assert, and consequently quote the classics from memory, or did he ["second"] read them again, enlarge his bookknowledge [sic], look up the passages when writing, in short, work in a scholarly way? To me, there is no doubt but that the second alternative is the true one. It can, I think, be proved by the chronological distribution of the testimonies and by the interferences to be drawn from their form. In this connection much attention will naturally be given to Augustine's method of quotation and his literary technique." [15] [End of Introduction].

'2. Philosophy: Seneca and Apuleius

Augustine's attitude towards Seneca is rather enigmatical. Earlier Christian writers had a high esteem for the philosopher [Seneca]. Tertullian talked of Seneca saepe noster,2) Minucius Felix used him (without naming him),3) Lactantius was of the opinion that the could have become a Christian, if he had been given instruction.4) Jerome placed him in catalogo sanctorum (vir. ill. 12) because of the pretended correspondence between him and the apostle Paul, a Christian forgery,5) and made extensive use of De matrimonio [not extant (see 1627)] in the polemical pamphlet against Iovinianus.1) When criticized by Rufinus because of his boastful references to Greek poets and philosophers he [Jerome] admitted that he knew of them only from Latin authors, among them Seneca.2) In view of this statement it is a puzzling fact that he [Jerome] seems to have drawn next to nothing from other works of Seneca's than De matrimonio.3)

Augustine mentions Seneca only a few times and in a way that does not go to show that he was well acquainted with him

[I disagree! Augustine's statement ["[Faustus] had read some of the speeches of Cicero, a very few books of Seneca" (see 1594)] is one major clue. See the above paragraph ("it is a puzzling fact"). See etc.].

The two quotations from the tragedies are anonymous, ascribed to quidam eorum tragicus, resp. quidam (see Chap. IV p. 476 f.). When quoting Seneca's translation (epist. 107, 10-11) of Cleanthes' lines, he is not quite certain about the author: Annaei Senecae sunt, ni fallor, hi versus (civ. V. 8, test. 594). Talking to the Manichean leader Faustus' scanty bookknowledge he mentions aliquas Tullianas orationes et paucissimos Senecae libros et nonnulla poetarum et suae sectae (conf. V. 6, II, test. 54). For the rest, Seneca's name appears only in connection with a hint at the surreptitious correspondence with the apostle Paul, epist. 153, 14 Seneca qui temporibus apostolorum fuit, cuius etiam quaedam ad Paulum apostolum leguntur epistulae; civ. VI. 10 Annaeus Seneca, quem nonnullis indiciis invenimus apostolorum nostrorum claruisse temporibus. There is no doubt that Augustine is indebted to Jerome for this information.4)....' [676-677].

[See (not presented): "Vol. I. Testimonia", "Seneca Philosophus", 245-249].

PAGE 1592

from: The Fathers of the Church, A New Translation, Volume 20, Saint Augustine [354 - 430], Letters, Volume III (131 - 164), translated by Sister Wilfrid Parsons, S.N.D., The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C., 1965 (c1953) (written: "386 - 430": from: "The surviving works of Augustine comprise a little over five million words"

(James J. O'Donnell, U. Penn.)).

"[Letter] 153. Augustine, bishop, servant of Christ and of his household, gives greeting in the Lord to his beloved son, Macedonius (414)" [281].

"[Letter 153.] Well was it said by SENECA,22 [see footnote, below] A CONTEMPORARY OF THE APOSTLES, SEVERAL OF WHOSE LETTERS23 [see footnote, below] TO THE APOSTLE PAUL ARE EXTANT: 'He who hates bad men hates all men.'24 Yet, bad men are to be loved, so that they may not continue to be bad, just as sick men are to be loved so that they may not remain sick, but may be cured." [291].


"22 Latin writer and Stoic philosopher (A.D. 265). His Moral Essays [see 1615-1624] commended him to early Christian authorities and led to the belief that he had known St. Paul.


PAGE 1593

from: The Fathers of the Church, Volume 21, Saint Augustine [354 - 430], Confessions, translated by Vernon J. Bourke, Ph.D., The Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C., 1966 (c1953) (written: "397 ( - 401?)").

"Book Five: Teaching in Rome and Milan"


"[Chapter] 6 Faustus is unable to answer Augustine's questions 110"

"Chapter 6

(10 [paragraph number. see: Confessions, Chadwick, Oxford, 1998 (1992), xxvi]) During almost nine of these years, in which, as my mind strayed from truth, I listened to these people ["Manichees" (translation by Chadwick)], I was looking forward with an ardent desire to the advent of this Faustus [contemporary of Augustine [354 - 430]]. For, the others among them ["Manichees" (Chadwick)], with whom I had chance encounters, were unable to deal with my questions about such things, and they promised me that he would very easily give a quite clear explanation of these things, when he arrived and joined in the oral discussion, and of even greater ones which I might ask.

And so, when he [Faustus] did come, I perceived that he was a pleasing man, using charming language, and discoursing more smoothly about those same things ["Manichean arguments" (translation by Pine-Coffin)] of which the others customarily spoke. But, what help was it to my thirst for more precious drinks that the cupbearer was most comely? My ears were already filled with such things ["tales" (Pine-Coffin)], nor did they seem better to me because they were better expressed, nor true because elegantly expressed; nor was the soul wise because the face was handsome or the speech graceful. Those people who had promised him to me were not good judges of things; hence, what made him appear prudent and wise was the way he delighted them when he spoke....

[(11)] I [Augustine] found at once that the man [Faustus] was acquainted, among the liberal arts, only with grammar, and that in a very ordinary way. Also, that he [FAUSTUS] HAD READ SOME OF THE SPEECHES OF CICERO, A VERY FEW BOOKS OF SENECA, some of the poets, and whatever treatises of his own sect had been written in Latin and in literary style. Moreover, that his daily practice in speaking endowed him with an eloquence which grew more attractive and more seductive through his control of his talent and a certain natural charm.

Is not that my recollection of it, O Lord my God, Judge of my conscience? My heart and my remembrance are open before Thee,30 who didst move me at that time by the hidden mystery of Thy providence and even then turn my shameful errors before my face so that I might see and hate them." [110-111] [End of Chapter 6].

PAGE 1594

from: St Augustine [354 - 430], Concerning, The City of God, against the Pagans, translated by Henry Bettenson, Penguin, 1984 (1972) (1467) (written: "413 - 426/427").

"Book VI"

"10. Seneca's frankness in criticizing 'civil' theology more vigorously than Varro denounced the 'mythical'

Varro lacked the frankness and courage to criticize the theology of the city with the same freedom he showed towards the theology of the theatre, which resembled it so closely. Annaeus Seneca had those qualities in some degree, if not in full measure. That is he had them in his writing; but he failed to display them in his life.

SENECA (who I suppose, on good evidence, to have been at the height of his fame in the time of our apostles)42 [see footnote, below] wrote a book AGAINST SUPERSTITIONS.43 [see footnote, below] In it he attacked this 'civil' theology, the theology of the city, in much greater detail, and with much greater vehemence than Varro had used against the 'fabulous' theology of the theatre. Thus, on the subject of images, he writes,

They dedicate images representing sacred, immortal, inviolable beings in base, inert matter; they give them the shapes of men, of wild beasts, or of fishes; some make bi-sexual gods, having bodies with incongruous characteristics. And they give the name of divinities to those images, though they would be classed as monsters if they suddenly came to life.

[[footnotes] "42. Seneca (cf. Bk v, 8n.) was certainly contemporary with the apostles; his elder brother, Gallio, encountered St Paul in Corinth in A.D. 52 (Acts 18, 12 [see 1584, 1586, 1588]).

An apocryphal correspondence (of unutterable banality) between Seneca and Paul is extant (trans. in M.R. James, Apocryphal New Test.); and, as we know from Jerome (De. Vir. III., 12) and from St Augustine himself (Ep., 153, 14) it was accepted as authentic and widely read, in the FOURTH CENTURY. Many others besides Jerome believed that Seneca was at least sympathetic to Christianity.


PAGE 1595


Somewhat later, he [Seneca] speaks in praise of 'NATURAL' THEOLOGY, and sets out the opinions of some of the philosophers. He then confronts himself with a question. 'At this point,' he says, 'someone asks, "Am I to believe that the sky and the earth are gods? And that some gods live above the moon and some below? Am I to bear patiently with Plato, who proposed a god without a body

[compare: "We thus arrive at the paradoxical conception of God as a gaseous vertebrate." (Ernst Haeckel [1834 - 1919], The Riddle of the Universe, Prometheus, 1992 (German 1899) (a Classic!), 288)];

or Strato,44 ["44. Strato 'was called Physicus because he held that all divine power was situated in nature, which possesses the causes of birth, growth, and diminution, while it lacks any shape or sensibility' (Cic., De Nat. Deor., 1, 13, 35). Strato succeeded Theophrastus as head of the Peripatetic school in 288 B.C."]

the Peripatetic, who suggested a god without a soul?"' Seneca then replies, 'Do you really suppose that the dreams of Titus Tatius, or Romulus, or Tullus Hostilius, were nearer to the truth? Tatius dedicated a statue to the goddess Cloacina;45 ["45. cf. Bk IV, 8n."] Romulus to Picus and Tiberinus. Hostilius made divinities of Panic and Pallor,46 ["46. "Picus, Tiberinus: cf Bk IV, 23n.; Panic, Pallor: cf. Bk IV, 15."] the most unpleasant conditions of human beings; the one being the emotion of a terrified mind, the other not even a disease, but merely a change of complexion. Are you more inclined to believe in these deities, and to give them a place in heaven?'

Seneca was quite outspoken about the cruel obscenity of some of the ceremonies:

One man cuts off his male organs: another gashes his arms. If this is the way they earn the favour of the gods, what happens when they fear their anger? The gods do not deserve any kind of worship, if this is the worship they desire. So extreme is the frenzy of a mind disturbed and toppled from its throne, that the gods are appeased by rites which surpass the savagery of the foulest of mankind, whose cruelty has passed into legend. Tyrants have sometimes lacerated men's limbs: they have never ordered men to lacerate themselves. Men have been gelded to serve a monarch's lustful pleasure; but no one has ever unmanned himself with his own hands, at the bidding of his master. Men gash themselves in the temples, and offer their wounds and their blood as a supplication. If anyone had the time to notice what those people do and what they have done to them, he would discover things so unbecoming for men of honour, so unworthy of freemen, so incongruous for men of sane mind, that no one would hesitate to call them mad, if there were not so many sharing the same frenzy. As it is, THEIR TITLE TO SANITY RESTS ON THE MULTITUDE OF THE APPARENTLY INSANE.


PAGE 1596


He [Seneca] goes on to recount the ceremonies habitually observed in the Capitol itself, and he exposes them without the slightest reserve. No one would believe, he implies, that those were performed by any but lunatics--unless it were in a spirit of mockery. He [Seneca] himself speaks in derision of THE MOURNING FOR OSIRIS47

["47. Osiris. The Egyptian myth described him as a king who brought civilization to his people; but he was murdered and his body dissected by his wicked brother Set. Isis, his sister and wife, collected his remains and buried them, and then, with her son Horus, took revenge on Set. Osiris becomes the god of the dead, and through Horus (identified with the Sun) the source of new life. Osiris' incarnation in the bull Apis suggests that he essentially represents the male generative power."]


But at least this delirium has a limited period; it is allowable to go mad once a year. If you go to the Capitol, you will be ashamed at the demented performances presented to the public, which frivolous lunacy looks upon in the light of a duty. Jupiter has someone to announce the names of his callers; another to tell him the time; he has an attendant to wash him, another to oil him, and this one merely goes through the motions with his hands. There are women to do the hair of Juno and Minerva; these stand at a distance not only from the statues, but from the temple, and move their fingers like hairdressers, while others hold up a looking-glass. You find people praying the gods to stand bail for them; others handing them their writs and explaining their law cases. A leading pantomime actor of great experience, grown old and decrepit, used to put on his act every day on the Capitol, as if the gods still took pleasure in his performance now that human beings had abandoned him. Craftsmen of all kinds hang about the place waiting to do some work for the immortal gods.

Soon afterwards, Seneca adds,

At least the services they offer are not indecent or dishonourable, though they may be superfluous. But there are some women who haunt the Capitol in the belief that Jupiter is in love with them: and they are not deterred by the thought of Juno's jealous anger, which (if one is to believe the poets) can be formidable!

PAGE 1597


Here we have a freedom of speech such as Varro [116 - 27 B.C.E. (see #24, 532)] did not display. He [Varro] could only bring himself to criticize POETIC THEOLOGY [apparently, "theology of the theatre" (see 1595)]; he did not dare find fault with 'civil', which Seneca cut to pieces. Yet,


Hence, in the rites of 'CIVIL' THEOLOGY [apparently, "theology of the city" (see 1595)] the role chosen by Seneca for the wise man is to simulate conformity in act while having no religious attachment. This is what he says: 'The wise man will observe all these customs as being ordered by law, not as acceptable to the gods.' And, a little later,

[Seneca] And what of the marriages we arrange among the gods, including the blasphemy of unions between brothers and sisters? We give Bellona to Mars, Venus to Vulcan, Salacia48 ["48. cf. Bk IV, 11."] to Neptune. We leave some of the gods as bachelors, for lack, one assumes, of suitable matches. There are, to be sure, some unattached females available, such as Populonia, Fulgora,49 ["49. Populonia occurs as an epithet of Juno, as protectress against devastation (populari = 'to devastate'). Perhaps Fulgora describes her as guarding against lightning (fulgor)."] and Rumina;50 ["50. cf. Bk IV, 11n."] but it is not surprising that no suitors were forthcoming for them.



Thus, what the laws and custom established in 'civil' theology is not what was acceptable to the gods, nor anything related to reality. But Seneca, who had been, as it were, emancipated by the philosophers, but who was also an illustrious senator of the Roman people, worshipped what he criticized, performed acts which he reprehended, venerated what he condemned. Doubtless philosophy had taught him an important lesson, that he should not be superstitious in his conception of the physical universe; but, because of the laws of the country and the accepted customs, he also learnt that without playing an actor's part in theatrical fictions, he should imitate such a performance in the temple. This was to take a line the more reprehensible in that he acted this insincere part in such a way as to lead people to believe him sincere [Augustine, annoying!]. The stage-player on the other hand, only aims at giving pleasure by his performance; he has no desire to mislead or deceive his audience.

PAGE 1598

11. Seneca's opinion of the Jews

Besides criticizing the superstitions of 'civil' theology, Seneca attacks the rites of the Jews, and the Sabbath in particular. He maintains that the Sabbath is a harmful institution, since by the interposition of this one day in seven they practically lose a seventh part of their life in inactivity, and they suffer by having to put off urgent tasks. As for the Christians, who were at that time already bitterly opposed to the Jews, he did not dare to mention them for good or ill--not wishing to praise them in defiance of the ancient traditions of his country, nor to criticize them against (it may be) his personal feelings. It is in speaking of the Jews that he [Seneca] says: 'The customs of this detestable race have become so prevalent that they have been adopted in almost all the world. The vanquished have imposed their laws on the conquerors.' He expresses his surprise when he says this, and he [Seneca] shows his ignorance of the ways of God's working in adding a remark in which he reveals what he thought about the Jewish ritual system: 'At least they [Jews] know the origins of their ceremonies: the greater part of our people have no idea of the reason for the things they do.' [see: Addition 15, 958-1002; Addition 16, 1008-1010 (Mencken)]

The questions that arise about the Jewish religious practices, why, and to what extent, they have been established by divine authority, and afterwards taken over, with divine approval, by the people of God, to whom the mystery of eternal life has been revealed--these questions I [Augustine] have treated in other places, and in particular in my books against the Manicheans.51 ["51. Adv. Faust. Man., ch. 6;7."] And I shall have more to say on this topic at a more convenient moment in this present work." [248-252].

from: #2, 19, 104.: 'He [Augustine 354 - 430 C.E.] recounts that he had to completely alter his own linguistic assumptions and his taste for the "stately prose of Cicero," in order to accommodate the seemingly VULGAR, CHILDLIKE LANGUAGE OF SCRIPTURE.9 Are these not, he asks himself, SIMPLY "LITERARY" FABLES like the "immoral stories" he and his fellow churchmen object to in pagan literature?'

[See: 1586 (Dramatis personae)].

PAGE 1599


from: Guide to the Thought of Lucius Annaeus Seneca, In the Extant Prose Works--Epistulae Morales, the Dialogi [Moral Essays (see 1614)], De Beneficiis, De Clementia, and Quaestiones Naturales, by Anna Lydia Motto, Amsterdam, Adolf M. Hakkert, Publisher, 1970.


    'It has sometimes been asserted against Seneca that he too much abounds in Stoic commonplaces and is lacking in "depth of thought." The present Sourcebook should make trenchantly clear the wide range, the variety, and the deliberate eclecticism of his thought. WITH A FRANKNESS, INDIVIDUALISM, AND INSIGHT UNUSUAL IN ANY AGE, SENECA WAS WILLING TO CONFRONT EVERY HUMAN VIRTUE AND EVERY HUMAN WEAKNESS--INCLUDING HIS OWN. With the present arrangement and display of his essential thought, Seneca will have to stand on his own.--He assuredly can.

June 1969 A.L.M.

[Anna Lydia Motto]' [ix].


    Seneca culls his precepts from every form of doctrine with impartial appreciation. A careful reading of his extant prose works reveals eclecticism as the distinguishing mark of his philosophy. He writes:

Disputare cum Socrate licet, dubitare cum
Carneade, cum Epicuro quiescere, hominis
naturam cum Stoicis vincere, cum Cynicis

[I can dispute with Socrates, doubt with
Carneades, find peace with Epicurus, conquer
human nature with the Stoics, exceed it with the Cynics.]



PAGE 1600

'Although he allied himself with the school of Stoics, as that philosophy best suited to discipline the self at the same time that it served one's fellow-men, and accorded with Nature and Providence,3 yet it was his [Seneca] constant practice to pass freely from one school to another and to take the thoughts which suited him wherever he might find them.4 For SENECA WAS NO SECTARIAN DOGMATIST, BUT RATHER A DISCIPLE OF TRUTH.

Non ibo per priorum vestigia? Ego vero utar
via vetere, sed si propiorem planioremque invenero,
hanc muniam. Qui ante nos ista moverunt, non
domini nostri, sed duces sunt. Patet omnibus
veritas, nondum est occupata. Multum ex illa
etiam futuris relictum est. 5

[Shall I not tread in the footsteps of my prede-
cessors? I shall, in truth, use the old road, but
if I come upon one that is shorter and easier, I
shall secure it. Men who discovered those paths
before us are not our masters, but our guides.
Truth lies open to all, it has not yet been wholly appropri-
ated. There is also a great deal of it left for
posterity to explore.]

[compare: "objectivity"; "progress" (see 1625)]

To attempt to find in Seneca's writings fixed and unalterable dogmatic principles is to expect more than he [Seneca] desired to give. Quintilian [c. 35 - c. 100 C.E. (see 1581, 1587, 1609)] has remarked upon his inconsistencies and want of rigorous method,6 forgetting that his [Seneca] aims were practical and that he sought more to direct a conscience than to expound a system. His only concern is to extract practical principles from every field of thought.7' [xi].

'In his writings we discover Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] not as a rigid [see 1556] Stoic but as a lover of truth--an independent thinker, a moral philosopher whose precepts are drawn from all the great masters of Greco-Roman civilization. Seneca will accept truth and sound moral teaching from any quarter, from Epicurus [341 - 270 B.C.E.] as readily as from Chrysippus [c. 280 - c. 206 B.C.E.], from Democritus [c. 460 - c. 370 B.C.E.] as from Zeno [Zeno of Citium c. 335 - c. 263 B.C.E.]. In his prose writings there are ninety-nine references to ten philosophical sects. There are 545 references to seventy-five different philosophers. Combining the number of references to philosophical sects with those to philosophers, we obtain a total of 644 such allusions.

PAGE 1601

Of this total the schools most frequently mentioned are:
       Stoic 67 times
       Peripatetic 9 "
       Epicurean 7 "
       Cynic 6 "
       Academic 5 "
       Cyrenaic 1 "
       Eretrian 1 "
       Megarian 1 "
       Pyrrhonian 1 "
       Pythagorean 1 "
The individual philosophers most frequently referred to are:
        Epicurus 64 times
        Socrates 49 "
        M. Porcius Cato
             the Younger
45 "
        Plato 33 "
        Posidonius 29 "
        Cicero 25 "
        Zeno 23 "
        Aristotle 23 "
        Chrysippus 18 "
        Democritus 15 "
        Cleanthes 14 "
        Demetrius 12 "
        Theophrastus 12 "

This tabulation17 shows us the extent of Seneca's eclecticism; it establishes that he employs the ideas of Stoics and Epicureans more than those of other schools; indeed these were the two principle schools of thought that contended for favor in Imperial Rome. To men concerned as Seneca was with the practical problems of life, there was of necessity much in common between these two systems. The Stoics believed that virtue was the highest good; the Epicureans, pleasure. But the "pleasure" which constituted their summum bonum in life was something richer than wine, women, and song, something much deeper than the gluttony and libertinage that later generations ascribed to them. Epicurean "pleasure" was, rather, moral conduct itself and the art or practice of living fully, ideally, happily. Since Epicurus taught that it is impossible to lead a life of pleasure which is not also a life of prudence, honor, and justice; nor lead a life of prudence, honor, and justice which is not also a life of pleasure,18 it seems that the Stoic is almost at one with the Epicurean at last.

PAGE 1602

The tabulation [see 1602] also demonstrates that Seneca utilizes individual Stoics of the later period more than individual Stoics of the earlier period; and finally that he [Seneca] refers to Epicurus more often than to any other philosopher.' [xiii-xv].

"Seneca ever enjoys an unexpected turn, a jest, or pun." [xv].

"[Seneca] will commence a letter with a shocking proposition". [xvi].

"Seneca's habit of teasing even the Stoics." [xvi].

"Nor does Seneca exempt himself from these comic attacks". [xvi].

"Elsewhere, in spite of all his advice advocating self-control, contrary to

expectation he [Seneca] weeps helplessly at the loss of his friend Serenus

(Ep. LXIII. 14)." [xvi].

'Epicurus is to be the striking example that TRUTH IS VALID REGARDLESS OF ITS SOURCE:

"Epicurus," inquis, "dixit. Quid tibi cum alieno?" Quod verum est, meum est. Perseverabo Epicurum tibi ingerere, ut isti, qui in verba iurant, nec quid dicatur aestimant, sed a quo, sciant, quae optima sunt, esse communia. (Ep. XII. II).

[[translation] "Epicurus," you say, "said this. What have you to do with the philosophy of another school?" What's truth is mine. I shall continue to heap Epicurus upon you, so that those, who swear by words and do not value what is said but who said it, may know that the best thoughts are common property.]'


'To be sure, what separates the Stoic from the Epicurean is the fact that the Stoic does not hesitate to employ shocking, sophistic paradox; furthermore, he employs it for an active, practical purpose: to win the attention, to overturn the mind, and to turn it again toward the good. Other philosophers adopt milder, softer measures, whereas the Stoics are more active, more brazen:


PAGE 1603


Stoici virilem ingressi viam non ut amoena ineuntibus videatur curae habent, sed ut quam primum nos eripiat et in illum editum verticem educat, qui adeo extra omnem teli iactum surrexit, ut supra fortunam emineat. (De Cons. Sap. I. I.)

[[translation] The Stoics, having taken the manly road, are not concerned with making it attractive [compare: Addition 29, 1289 (Einstein)] to us who enter upon it, but with snatching us as quickly as possible and leading us to that lofty summit which rises so far beyond the hurling of every missile that it towers above fortune.]

Paradoxically enough, Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] has cunningly employed Epicurus [341 - 270 B.C.E.] to his own artistic and philosophic purposes; and yet, he cannot be condemned for this stratagem. The very Senecan virtue is precisely this custom of taking, in Bacon's [Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626] words, "all knowledge to be his province,"27 and of bringing that knowledge actively to bear upon the private--and the public--mind.

For Seneca's motive is that active turning-outward to others; his very addresses to Lucilius, though a service to himself as well, are motivated by the Stoic conception of an ideal Friendship:

Cum te tam valde rogo, ut studeas, meum negotium
ago; habere te amicum volo, quod contingere mihi,
nisi porgis ut coepisti excolere te, non potest.
                                              (Ep. XXXV. I)
[[translation] When I implore you so strongly to study, I'm paying
attention to my own interests; I want you as a
friend, and such a blessing cannot be mine unless
you continue, as you have begun, to improve yourself.]

And in this concern for the progress [see 1625] of the soul, one's own as well as another's, Seneca emerges a true Stoic.' [xx-xxi].

PAGE 1604

'Ultimately, the Stoic desires his fellow man to become, not merely a citizen of his native city, the Rome, Athens or Carthage in which he happens to be born, but rather a citizen of the world, the vast Cosmopolis to which all men and gods belong. This vision had motivated Zeno originally,29 was handed down by Cicero, in his noble conception of the ideal Republic,30 and finds strong confirmation in the thought of Seneca.31

It is to such an ideal citizenry of the universe that Seneca is continually dedicated. His use of Epicurus is but an indication of this union. In fact, his very employment of the technique of disruptive paradox serves the self-same purpose as Adversity: disjunction leads but to amalgamation and concord.32 The true, the memorable philosopher venerates the wisdom of the past, whatever its source, but he must bend, twist, reshape that past, making it new--if he is to serve the future. And this has been Seneca's achievement.

Veneror itaque inventa sapientiae inventoresque
adire tamquam multorum hereditatem iuvat. Mihi
ista adquisita, mihi laborata sunt. Sed agamus
bonum patrem familiae; faciamus ampliora, quae
accepimus. Maior ista hereditas a me ad posteros
transeat. Multum adhuc restat operis multumque
restabit, nec ulli nato post mille saecula prae-
cludetur occasio aliquid adhuc adiciendi. (Ep. LXIV. 7)

[[translation] Therefore I venerate the findings of wisdom and
their founders. To approach, as it were, the in-
heritance of many is a delight. For me those
discoveries were made, for me they were wrought.
But let us play the role of the just heir; let
us transmit more than we have received. Let that
inheritance pass from me to posterity greater than
before. Much work remains and ever shall remain
to be done, and the opportunity of adding something
further will not be denied to the man born a thousand
years from now.]'

[xxii-xxiii]. [End of Introduction].

[Note: to me, this abstract (from Seneca),
indicates "objectivity" ["discoveries", etc.] (see 1625), and,
"The Idea of Progress" ["Much work...."] (see 1625)].

PAGE 1605

from: Senecan Tragedy, by Anna Lydia Motto & John R. Clark, Adolf M. Hakkert, Publisher, Amsterdam, 1988.


The aim of this book is to scrutinize the artistry, the themes, the literary qualities of Seneca's drama. Our analysis is confined to the seven extant plays that are complete and certifiably Seneca's: the Agamemnon, Hercules Furens, Medea, Oedipus, Phaedra, Thyestes and Troades." ["1"].

"We have not attempted to add to the large body of conjecture and supposition concerning two historical questions that cannot be determined with any certitude: [1] in what order and at what period in Seneca's life were the plays composed;1 and [2] whether the plays were intended as dramas to be staged, as pieces for recitation, or as closet dramas.2 [see footnote, below] Evidence is scant and information unavailable. These issues have been debated, oftentimes at great length, elsewhere and by other scholars and will not, therefore, be examined here. It was felt that such topics, though interesting, were peripheral to the principal objective of the present volume--literary analysis of the Senecan dramatic corpus." ["1"-2].

[footnote] "2Herrmann (above, n. 1 ["Léon Herrmann, Le théâtre de Sénèque (Paris 1924) pp. 78-147"]), pp. 153-232, has argued at length that the plays were composed for presentation upon the stage, as has many another scholar; but the majority of students of Senecan drama concur with the idea that the plays were intended for recitation, the strongest case being made by Otto Zwierlein [see 1607], Die Rezitationsdramen Senecas (Meisenheim am Glan 1966). Most recently, Elaine Fantham [see 1607] (Seneca's Troades, A Literary Introduction with Text, Translation, and Commentary [Princeton 1982], pp. 34-49) proposes that the plays were intended for concert reading by possibly three distinct performers, or even more likely that they were intended as closet drama [Internet search ( "closet drama - encyclopaedia article from closet drama - a drama suited primarily for reading rather than production."]." [2].

[from: Priests, Philosophers and Prophets, Thomas Whittaker, London: Adam and Charles Black, 1911, 242: "The dramas, his [Seneca] latest editors conclude, were not made public during his lifetime, but only after his death from manuscripts found among his papers. That they were literary exercises, not written either for acting or with any serious attempt at characterization...."].

[CONSIDER: (NEW TESTAMENT) GOSPEL STORIES, AS DRAMA ("CLOSET DRAMA"? ETC.?). See: The Jesus of the Early Christians, G.A. Wells, 1971, 240-241 (241: "....More convincing is the suggestion of J.M. Robertson (222 ["222. Robertson, J.M., Pagan Christs, 2nd edn., London 1911"]) that the gospel passion narratives, in their least sophisticated form in Mk. and Mt., were not composed as narratives, but represent the transcript of a drama...."); etc.]. [See: 1597, 1598]. [Compare: 1581].

PAGE 1606



from: Seneca's Troades [play, by Seneca], A Literary Introduction with Text, Translation, and Commentary, Elaine Fantham, Princeton U., c1982.


The Medium of Senecan Tragedy: Stage Drama, Recitation, or Private Study?

When Seneca composed his tragedies, his best-known rival, Pomponius, was writing plays both for recitation and for the public stage.1 Indeed there is no inherent reason why the same dramatic text could not have been presented with equal success in either medium, if it was composed with the requirements of both types of communication kept before its author. A well-contrived script should avoid both ambiguity if recited without being staged, and physical problems entailed by staging what was conceived for oral delivery only. In considering whether or not Seneca intended his tragedies for the stage, the modern scholar has to avoid the twin pitfalls of--at one extreme--measuring his technique against the stagecraft of fifth-century Athens, and--at the other--assuming all the flexible alternative conventions of modern staging to resolve awkward features of physical performance. Herrmann argued at length against more than one German scholar that these plays were composed for the theater,2 and his point of view is maintained by Calder, Steidle, and Walker.3 The case for recitation has recently been given its most thorough advocacy by Zwierlein [see 1606],4 ["4 O. Zwierlein, Die Rezitationsdramen Senecas (Meisenheim am Glan, 1966)."] who illustrates both the ancient tradition of drama composed for recitation, and the features of Seneca's plays that seem to exclude composition for the stage but would enhance the effectiveness of a script written to be heard, not seen. Yet there is no feature in Zwierlein's indictment for which the advocates of staging cannot quote a parallel in successful stage plays. This discussion will use Zwierlein's arguments as a basis, first indicating the problems that would be entailed in presenting the tragedies according to the conventions of the Greek classical theater. It then attempts to redress the balance and carry the debate one step further, by considering the quite different hazards of presenting these plays in recitation...." [34-35].

[The above, indicates the complexities. See following (1608)].


PAGE 1607


"Is it possible to come to any conclusion? As works composed for the stage these dramas would contain unnecessary difficulties for actors and producers alike; in recitation, whether solo or by several readers, there would be places where the identity of the speaker would be left unclear. THERE IS, it seems to me, ONLY ONE MEDIUM IN WHICH THE ACTION OF SENECAN TRAGEDY COMES THROUGH WITH COMPLETE CLARITY, AND THAT IS THE WRITTEN TEXT [compare 1598 ("theatres", etc.)]. I would suggest then, that Seneca composed with the expectation that he would himself recite chosen passages, or would give a dramatized reading in cooperation with others; but ultimately the play would be known through written copies, and only the readers would experience the plays as complete works. In this he would be subjecting his work to the same forms of publication as Virgil or Ovid had intended for their epic poems, and as Maternus proposes for his ideological tragedy in the generation after Seneca's death.

These are not well-crafted stage plays, and their merit lies in poetic vitality rather than theatrical effectiveness. I would like to suggest as a postscript that this may explain why Seneca's powerful characterizations and thrilling portrayal of anger, revenge, and self-destruction deeply influenced the themes and tone of Renaissance drama in Italy, England, and France, but led to few actual imitations of the plays themselves. It is perhaps significant that Troades, though the first of his tragedies to be translated into English verse, has a relatively scant posterity in European drama; its French and Spanish and German adaptations have not survived in the dramatic repertoire of their countries.25 This century, with the increasing flexibility of cinema (which thrives on calculated discontinuity) could produce an effective visual performance of our play; on the other hand, radio provides the ideal medium,26 letting no trite effects of staging or photography compete with the impact that Seneca sought from the passionate and often shocking language of his mythical actions. As a prose writer he [Seneca] was used to achieving his effect of instruction or persuasion through words alone, and I believe he was content to let the words serve as the unaided medium of his dramatic poetry." [49] [(excepting footnote) end of chapter Three]. [See 1606].

End of Excursus

PAGE 1608

from: Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], A Critical Bibliography, 1900-1980, Scholarship on His Life, Thought, Prose, and Influence, Anna Lydia Motto, John R. Clark, Adolf M. Hakkert Publisher, Amsterdam, 1989.

[See entries for: Motto, A.L.; Grimal, P.; et al.].

[See entries: 55, 147, 208, 635, 675, 691, 695, 717, 736, 742, 761, 765, 775, 793, 868, 905, 935, 940, 942, 962-972 (Motto), 974, 982, 988, 1006, 1032, 1076, 1090, 1096, 1645, 1647, 1648, 1686, 1700, 1701, 1745, 1746, 1750, etc.].

[Caution: as is common, some authors (Christian propagandists), presume prominent early "Christian" influences; for example, in the lifetime of Seneca (c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.)].


This volume provides a survey of published scholarship on the extant prose works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca (the Apocolocyntosis, De Beneficiis, De Clementia, the twelve Dialogues [Moral Essays (see 1614)], the Epistulae Morales, and the Quaestiones Naturales) that has appeared during the years 1900 through 1980. Editions, translations, commentaries, manuscript studies, textual criticism, items on Seneca's life, works, philosophy, on his language and style, on his sources and his influence are listed, summarized and reviewed. Dissertations have been included, without comment but general works on Roman or classical philosophy, history, or literature (wherein Seneca would receive brief notice) have of necessity been omitted. Works which the authors have been unable to obtain are marked with an asterisk (*)." [1].


El "torero de la virtud," como le [Seneca]
llamó Nietzsche [see 1532], viene así a encontrar
en nuestro siglo un auditorio mucho
más atento y comprensivo que el de
la centuria pasada....1

["1A.B. Freijeiro, Apuntes de la Vida Romana en la Obra de Séneca (Madrid 1966),
p. 9."]

During much of the nineteenth century, Senecan studies were neglected, and Seneca was regarded for the most part as an author of the second rate. His Stoicism was supposedly derivative, his rhetoric and style (after the opinion of Quintilian [c. 35 - c. 100 C.E. (see 1581, 1587, 1601)]) were thought too unclassical, zestful, and flashy, and his wealth and service under Nero were believed to undermine his sincerity and integrity. [see 1584; etc.]

PAGE 1609

The twentieth century, however, has borne witness to an amazing renaissance and revolution in Senecan studies. It is true, of course, that the present century has vastly multiplied the publication of scholarship on all of classical literature, but an increasing attention has been given to Seneca. There have been important reassessments of his life, his work, and his reputation. The early twentieth century saw the completion of the authoritative Teubner edition of the opera omnia and the publication in 1909 of René Waltz's political biography. Such activity led R.M. Gummere, early in 1914, to reflect:

We cannot resist the thought that
within a comparatively short space
of time scholars have begun to take
him [Seneca ] seriously, to give him the at-
tention he deserves. finds
in this supposedly superficial thinker
an encyclopaedic knowledge of govern-
ment, philosophy, and natural science.2

["2CW [The Classical World] 7 (Feb. 14, 1914) 125."]....

Thus, in his multitude of roles--as tutor and statesman, philosopher and men of letters--Seneca, as this volume surely attests, continues to arouse the interests and the emotions of men, as much or moreso [sic] today, as in centuries past.

...Seneca still lives,...the
modernity of Seneca is character-
istic of a mind transcending the
limits of time and space, ...Seneca
will continue to mold human aspir-
["3R.M. Gummere, Seneca the Philosopher and his Modern Message [see 1587]
(Boston 1922), p. xi."]....


No other Roman prose writer can com-
bine in the same degree accurate,
succinct statement of complex thought
and simple, hard-hitting clarity of
syntax... . [see: 1580, 1585, 1590]


PAGE 1610


Modern English and French prose have evolved away from the heightened, rolling formalities of Ciceronian periods [?] toward the relaxed tone and lighter touch of Senecan "point [?]." In our century, "we have," Quinn concedes, "all become Senecans without knowing it."5 ["5Texts and Contexts : The Roman Writers and their Audience (London 1979), pp. 213, 216, 218."]....

perhaps it was just as well that Seneca's reputation and value had fallen upon dark times in the last century, if only to set off his remarkable comeback in this one. Seneca would indeed fully understand the uses of adversity, and it is appropriate to this Introduction for us to permit Seneca himself the last word:

Marcet sine adversario virtus;
tunc apparet quanta sit quantumque polleat,
cum quid possit patientia ostendit.

[translation: "Without an adversary, prowess shrivels. We see how great and how efficient it ["prowess"] really is, only when it shows by endurance what it is capable of." (Seneca Moral Essays ["Dialogues" (xi)], John W. Basore [see 1614], vol. I, MCMLXX (1928), 9)]

["6De Prov. 2.4."]' [3, 4, 5] [End of Introduction].


'739. André, J.M. "Sénèque et la Peine de Mort," REL [Revue de Études Latines] 57 (1979) 278-297. Living in a period of stark brutality, Seneca gave considerable thought to the topic of the death penalty. In the De Ira, the De Clementia, and the Epistulae Morales, he strongly opposes saevitia tyrannica, advocating the virtue of clemency wherever possible. Regarding the death penalty, Seneca maintains that it must never be employed for the sake of vengeance but solely for the sake of social justice. When so employed, it falls within the "ordre humain."' [162].

'819. Faider, P. "Sénèque et Saint Paul," BMB [Bulletin du Musée de Beyrouth] 30 (1926) 109-119. The author briefly gives a report of Seneca's life; he tells of the beautiful myth of Seneca's acquaintance with St. Paul and its attractions. There has always been a tendency to unite humanistic and Christian ideas; esp. in the 19th C.; hence Seneca has been expected to yield Christian ideas. The so-called Letters between Paul and Seneca were regularly included in Seneca's writings during the Middle Ages. Only since 1441 A.D. were their ["Letters between Paul and Seneca"] authenticity called into question.' [178].

[See: 1612 (957.)].


PAGE 1611


'824. Favez, C. "Les opinions de Sénèque sur la Femme," REL [Revue de Études Latines] 16 (1938) 335-345. Women played important roles in Seneca's life. Especially is this true of his mother, his aunt, Marcia, Agrippina, Julia Livilla, and his wife Paulina. Although he frequently castigates feminine weakness and anger, he nonetheless extols their courage and determination. Overall, Seneca believes, women share the same human nature with men, and women can, like men, attain to Stoic goals and ideals.' [179].

'840. Gambet, D.G. "Cicero in the Works of Seneca Philosophus," TAPhA [Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philogical Association] 101 (1970) 171-83. Gambet studies Seneca's views of Cicero as philosopher, literary figure, prose stylist, statesman, and man. Seneca's judgement of Cicero as a philosopher is at times indifferent, at times unfavorable; as a stylist, Cicero is ranked as maximus or primus among Roman writers; as a literary figure he is highly praised; as a statesman, Cicero is regarded as inconsistent; as a man, lacking in Stoic wisdom and imperfect. Gambet concludes that Seneca had made a more in-depth study of Cicero than had most of Seneca's contemporaries and that, unlike them, his judgement of Cicero was, on the whole, unfavorable.' [182].

'897. Irwin, R. "Seneca," in "Studies in the History of Libraries, X," Library Association Record 58 (1956) 413-419. Intimate pictures of villa libraries in Rome and the role they played in the intellectual life of that city according to the testimonies of Cicero, Pliny the Younger, and Seneca.' [194].

'955. Minissale, F. "Una Nota Senecana (ad Marc. 11,3)," Vichiana 7 (1978) 180-182. Seneca's definition of man as "a vessel easily broken by the slightest shaking, the slightest tossing," as a corpus imbecillum et fragile (Ad Marc. 11.3), places emphasis upon human frailty (imbecillitas hominis) rather than upon the unnatural separation of body from soul so often expounded in the traditional schools of ancient philosophy. Seneca's sensitive description of man's weakness lends poetic color and force to his prose. No other author has so strikingly, so pathetically, defined the human condition.' [204].

'957. Momigliano, A. "Note sulla leggenda del cristianesimo [see:] di Seneca," RSI [Revista Storica Italiana] 62 (1950) 325-344. Momigliano maintains that the apocryphal correspondence between Seneca and St. Paul was PROBABLY FORGED IN THE FOURTH CENTURY; that the authors of the Middle Ages, while admitting its authenticity, never considered Seneca a Christian; that the belief in Seneca's conversion did not arise until the fourteenth century.' [205]. [See: 1611 (819.)].

PAGE 1612


'973. Muñoz Valle, I. "Explicación de las contradicciones de Séneca sobre la inmortalidad del alma," EClás [Estudios Clásicos] 12 (1968) 561-68. Seneca's contradictions regarding the nature of death--sometimes referring to it as non-existence, at times describing it as a process of change, and still at other times asserting the beautiful mystic hope of immortality--can best be explained by his concern for practical morality rather than by his desire to expound metaphysical theories. He asserts now one concept, now another, presenting whatever idea best suits a given circumstance. No matter what thesis he momentarily adopts, his aim is always the same: to liberate his fellow-men from the fear of death.' [209].

'978. Naumann, H. "Die Gestalt des Socrates und ihre Wirkungen auf die Weltliteratur," AU [Der altsprachliche Unterricht] 12 (1969) 64-103. As Socrates [c. 470 - 399 B.C.E.] was for Plato [c. 428 - 348-347 B.C.E.] the ideal philosopher, so Cato the Younger [Marcus Porcius Cato 95 - 46 B.C.E.] as well as Socrates became for Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] the symbol of greatness and the model of ethical behavior. In his own death, Seneca imitated these two masters.' [210].

'984. Noyes, R. "Seneca on Death," Journ. of Relig. and Health 12 (1973) 223-40. This lucid article, written by a physician, succinctly presents Seneca's views of life and death, urging modern psychotherapists to embrace the doctrines of this Philosopher whose "message reflects the pride and nobility of...Roman Stoic[ism]." Seneca showed men the continuity between living and dying, and offered them remedies for overcoming their natural, inescapable fear of death. "Few writers ancient or modern," says Noyes, "have equaled his understanding of the pathology of the mind.["]' [211].

'1073. Tibiletti, C. "Un 'topos' escatologico in Seneca e in autori cristiani," AFLN [Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia della Università di Napoli] 5-6 (1972-1973) 111-36. The concept that the dead man who is being mourned is not, in reality, dead but merely absent, that he has only been sent on ahead (praemittere), and that the living will soon follow him (sequi) over the same journey, is a formula frequently employed by Seneca as a consolatory device. This same means of consolation is found in Christian authors. In Seneca, however, the soul's survival will last until the period of the universal conflagration, at which time, according to Stoic doctrine, everything will be annihilated; in Christian thought, the notion of praemittere-sequi assumes a new and deeper meaning [simply: one-upmanship! [see 1514]]--the soul enjoys everlasting resurrection and restoration.' [227-228].


PAGE 1613


'1097. Wlosok, A. "Römischer religions- und Gottesbegriff in heidnischer und christlicher Zeit," A&A [Antike und Abendland] 16 (1970) 39-53. The Christian concept of deity as seen in Lactantius is closer to The Ciceronian than to the Senecan view of God. Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], like the Christians after him, acknowledges ritual practices and the worship of gods (cultus deorum [De Nat. Deor. 2.72]). Seneca, on the other hand, regards worship as a futile superstition, believing that God has no need for such ceremony. If one wishes to win the favor of God, Seneca tells us, he must be a good man. He who has imitated God has worshipped him enough (Ep. 95.50). Thus SENECA CREATES A PERSONAL BOND BETWEEN MAN AND GOD.' [232].

"Seneca's Influence"

'1631. Clark, C.E. "Seneca's Letters to Lucilius as a Source of Some of Montaigne's [1533 - 1592] Imagery," BiblH&R [?] 30 (1968) 249-66. While criticism has acknowledged Senecan influence on Montaigne's earlier Essays, it has failed to stress such Einfluss on his later work. This article, by a careful study of ideas, style, and imagery demonstrates the influence of Seneca's Epistulae Morales on Montaigne's entire career [see: 1580, 1590]. The Philosopher's Letters were for this French thinker [Montaigne] an ideal model.' [333].

Excursus: from: Seneca Moral Essays ["Dialogues" (xi)], translated by John W. Basore, Harvard; Heinemann, vol. II, MCMLXXIX (1932), "Ad Marciam De Consolatione" ("To Marcia On Consolation"), XXV. 1; XXVI. 6-7:

"....There is no need, therefore, for you [Marcia] to hurry to the tomb of your son; what lies there is his basest part and a part that in life was the source of much trouble--bones and ashes are no more parts of him than were his clothes and the other protections of the body. He is complete--leaving nothing of himself behind, he has fled away and wholly departed from earth; for a little while he tarried above us while he was being purified and was ridding himself of all the blemishes and stain that still clung to him from his mortal existence, then soared aloft and sped away to join the souls of the blessed. A saintly band gave him welcome...." [89, 91]. [See: 1570].

'And when the time shall come for the world to be blotted out in order that it may begin its life anew, these things will destroy themselves by their own power, and stars will clash with stars, and all the fiery matter of the world that now shines in orderly array will blaze up in a common conflagration. Then also the souls of the blest, who have partaken of immortality, when it shall seem best to God to create the universe anew--we, too, amid the falling universe, shall be added as a tiny fraction to this mighty destruction, and shall be changed again into our former elements."

Happy, Marcia, is your son, who already knows these mysteries!'

[95, 97] [End of essay]. [See: 1566, 1570]. [End of Excursus].


PAGE 1614


from: Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], Ad Lucilium, Epistulae Morales, with an English Translation by Richard M. Gummere, In Three Volumes, I, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLXI (1917).

"IV. On the Terrors of Death"

'....But I [Seneca] must end my letter. Let me share with you the saying which pleased me to-day. IT TOO, IS CULLED FROM ANOTHER MAN'S GARDENb ["bThe Garden of Epicurus [340 - 270 B.C.E.]. Fragg. [fragments?] 477 and 200 Usener."]:

"Poverty, brought into conformity with the law of nature, is great wealth."

Do you know what limits that law of nature ordains for us? Merely to avert hunger, thirst, and cold. In order to banish hunger and thirst, it is not necessary for you to pay court at the doors of the purse-proud, or to submit to the stern frown, or to the kindness that humiliates; nor it is necessary for you to scour the seas, or go campaigning; nature's needs are easily provided and ready to hand.


[a Classic! (first seen, 1964, San Francisco)] [see 1622],

--the superfluous things that wear our togas threadbare, that force us to grow old in camp, that dash us upon foreign shores. That which is enough is ready to our hands. He who has made a fair compact with poverty is rich. Farewell.'

[19] [End of Epistle].

"XI. On the Blush of Modesty"

'But my letter calls for its closing sentence. Hear and take to heart this useful and wholesome mottoa: "CHERISH SOME MAN OF HIGH CHARACTER, AND KEEP HIM EVER BEFORE YOUR EYES, LIVING AS IF HE WERE WATCHING YOU, AND ORDERING ALL YOUR ACTIONS AS IF HE BEHELD THEM." [see 1566 (Wells, on Bauer, on Seneca), 1617] Such, my dear Lucilius, is the counsel of EPICURUSa; he has quite properly given us a guardian and an attendant. We can get rid of most sins, if we have a witness who stands near us when we are likely to go wrong. The soul should have someone whom it can respect,--one by whose authority it may make even its inner shrine more hallowed.b Happy is the man who can make others better, not merely when he is in their company, but even when he is in their thoughts! And happy also is he who can so revere a man as to calm and regulate himself by calling him to mind! One who can so revere another, will soon be himself worthy of reverence. Choose therefore a Cato; or, if Cato seems too severe a model, choose some Laelius, a gentler spirit. Choose a master whose life, conversation, and soul-expressing face have satisfied you; picture him always to yourself as your protector or your pattern. For we must indeed have someone according to whom we may regulate our characters; you can never straighten that which is crooked unless you use a ruler. Farewell.' [63, 65] [End of Epistle].

PAGE 1615

"XV. On Brawn and Brains"

'The old Romans had a custom which survived even into my [Seneca c. 4 B.C.E. - 64 C.E.] lifetime. They would add to the opening words of a letter: "If you are well, it is well; I also am well." Persons like ourselves would do well to say: "If you are studying philosophy, it is well." For this is just what "being well" means. Without philosophy the mind is sickly, and the body, too, though it may be very powerful, is strong only as that of a madman or a lunatic is strong. This, then, is the sort of health you should primarily cultivate; the other kind of health comes second, and will involve little effort, if you wish to be well physically. It is indeed foolish, my dear Lucilius, and very unsuitable for a cultivated man, to work hard over developing the muscles and broadening the shoulders and strengthening the lungs. For although your heavy feeding produce good results and your sinews grow solid, you can never be a match, either in strength or in weight, for a first-class bull. Besides, by overloading the body with food you strangle the soul and render it less active. Accordingly, limit the flesh as much as possible, and allow free play to the spirit. Many inconveniences beset those who devote themselves to such pursuits. In the first place, they have their exercises, at which they must work and waste life-force and render it less fit to bear a strain or the severer studies. Second, their keen edge is dulled by heavy eating. Besides, they must take orders from slaves of the vilest stamp,--men who alternate between the oil-flask* and the flagon, whose day passes satisfactorily if they have got up a good perspiration and quaffed, to make good what they have lost in sweat, huge draughts of liquor which will sink deeper because of their fasting. Drinking and sweating--it's the life of a dyspeptic!b

Now there are short and simple exercises which tire the body rapidly, and so save our time; and time is something of which we ought to keep strict account. These exercises are running, brandishing weights, and jumping,--high-jumping or broad-jumping, or the kind which I may call "the Priest's dance,"a or, in slighting terms, "the clothes-cleaner's jump."b Select for practice any one of these, and you will find it plain and easy. But whatever you do, come back soon from body to mind. The mind must be exercised both day and night, for it is nourished by moderate labour; and this form of exercise need not be hampered by cold or hot weather, or even by old age. Cultivate that good which improves with the years. Of course I do not command you to be always bending over your books and your writing materials; the mind must have a change,--but a change of such a kind that it is not unnerved, but merely unbent. Riding in a litter shakes up the body, and does not interfere with study; one may read, dictate, converse, or listen to another; nor does walking prevent any of these things [see 1521].

You need not scorn voice-culture; but I forbid you to practise raising and lowering your voice by scales and specific intonations. What if you should next propose to take lessons in walking! If you consult the sort of person whom starvation has taught new tricks, you will have someone to regulate your steps, watch every mouthful as you eat....' [95, 97, 99].


PAGE 1616


"LII. On Choosing our Teachers"

'What is this force, Lucilius, that drags us in one direction when we are aiming in another, urging us on to the exact place from which we long to withdraw? What is it that wrestles with our spirit, and does not allow us to desire anything once for all? We veer from plan to plan. None of our wishes is free, none is unqualified, none is lasting. "But it is the fool," you say, "who is inconsistent; nothing suits him for long." But how or when can we tear ourselves away from this folly? No man by himself has sufficient strength to rise above it; he needs a helping hand, and some one to extricate him. [see 1566, 1615]

Epicurus [341 - 270 B.C.E.]a remarks that certain men have worked their way to the truth without any one's assistance, carving out their own passage. And he gives special praise to these, for their impulse has come from within, and they have forged to the front by themselves. Again, he says, there are others who need outside help, who will not proceed unless someone leads the way, but who will follow faithfully. Of these, he says, Metrodorus was one; this type of man is also excellent, but belongs to the second grade. We [apparently, Seneca himself, and, "Lucilius"] ourselves are not of that first class, either; we shall be well treated if we are admitted into the second. Nor need you despise a man who can gain salvation only with the assistance of another; the will to be saved means a great deal, too.

You will find still another class of man,--and a class not to be despised,--who can be forced and driven into righteousness, who do not need a guide as much as they require someone to encourage and, as it were, to force them along. This is the third variety. If you ask me for a man of this pattern also, Epicurus tells us that Hermarchus was such. And of the two last-named classes, he is more ready to congratulate the one,a ["ai.e., that of Metrodorus, who had the happier nature."] but he feels more respect for the other; for although both reached the same goal, it is a greater credit to have brought about the same result with the more difficult material upon which to work.' [345, 347].

PAGE 1617

from: Seneca, Ad Lucilium, Epistulae Morales, In Three Volumes, II, MCMLXI (1920).

"LXXX. On Worldly Deceptions"

'To-day I have some free time, thanks not so much to myself as to the games, which have attracted all the bores to the boxing-match.a No one will interrupt me or disturb the train of my thoughts, which go ahead more boldly as the result of my very confidence. My door has not been continually creaking on its hinges nor will my curtain be pulled aside;b my thoughts may march safely on,--and that is all the more necessary for one who goes independently and follows out his own path. Do I then follow no predecessors? Yes, but I allow myself to discover something new, to alter, to reject. I am not a slave to them, although I give them my approval.

And yet that was a very bold word which I spoke when I assured myself that I should have some quiet, and some uninterrupted retirement. For lo, a great cheer comes from the stadium, and while it does not drive me distracted, yet it shifts my thoughts to a contrast suggested by this very noise. How many men, I say to myself, train their bodies, and how few train their minds!c What crowds flock to the games,--spurious as they are and arranged merely for pastime,--and what a solitude reigns where the good arts are taught! How feather-brained are the athletes whose muscles and shoulders we admire! The question which I ponder most of all is this: if the body can be trained to such a degree of endurance that it will stand the blows and kicks of several opponents at once, and to such a degree that a man can last out the day and resist the scorching sun in the midst of the burning dust, drenched all the while with his own blood,--if this can be done, how much more easily might the mind be toughened so that it could receive the blows of Fortune and not be conquered, so that it might struggle to its feet again after it has been laid low, after it has been trampled under foot?

For although the body needs many things in order to be strong, yet the mind grows from within, giving to itself nourishment and exercise. Yonder athletes must have copious food, copious drink, copious quantities of oil, and long training besides; but you can acquire virtue without equipment and without expense. All that goes to make you a good man lies within yourself. And what do you need in order to become good? To wish it. But what better thing could you wish for than to break away from this slavery,--a slavery that oppresses us all, a slavery which even chattels of the lowest estate, born amid such degradation, strive in every possible way to strip off? In exchange for freedom they pay out the savings which they have scraped together by cheating their own bellies; shall you not be eager to attain liberty at any price, seeing that you claim it as your birthright? Why cast glances toward your strong-box? Liberty cannot be bought. It is therefore useless to enter in your ledgera the item of "Freedom," for freedom is possessed neither by those who have bought it nor by those who have sold it. You must give this good to yourself, and seek it from yourself.


PAGE 1618


First of all, free yourself from the fear of death, for death puts the yoke about our necks; then free yourself from the fear of poverty. If you would know how little evil there is in poverty, compare the faces of the poor with those of the rich; the poor man smiles more often and more genuinely; his troubles do not go deep down; even if any anxiety comes upon him, it passes like a fitful cloud. But the merriment of those whom men call happy is feigned, while their sadness is heavy and festering, and all the heavier because they may not meanwhile display their grief, but must act the part of happiness in the midst of sorrows that eat out their very hearts....'

[213, 215, 217].

'When you buy a horse, you order its blanket to be removed; you pull off the garments from slaves that are advertised for sale, so that no bodily flaws may escape your notice; if you judge a man, do you judge him when he is wrapped in a disguise? Slave-dealers hide under some sort of finery and defect which may give offence,a and for that reason the very trappings arouse the suspicion of the buyer. If you catch sight of a leg or an arm that is bound up in cloths, you demand that it be stripped and that the body itself be revealed to you. Do you see yonder Scythian or Sarmatian king, his head adorned with the badge of his office? If you wish to see what he amounts to, and to know his full worth, take off his diadem; much evil lurks beneath it. But why do I speak of others? If you wish to set a value on yourself, put away your money, your estates, your honours, and look into your own soul. At present, you are taking the word of others for what you are. Farewell.'

[217, 219] [End of Epistle].

"LXXXIII. On Drunkenness"

"How much better it is to arraign drunkenness frankly and to expose its vices! For even the middling good man avoids them, not to mention the perfect sage, who is satisfied with slaking his thirst; the sage, even if now and then he is led on by good cheer which for a friend's sake, is carried somewhat too far, yet always stops short of drunkenness. We shall investigate later the question whether the mind of the sage is upset by too much wine and commits follies like those of the toper ["drunkard"]; but meanwhile, if you wish to prove that a good man ought not to get drunk, why work it out by logic? Show how base it is to pour down more liquor than one can carry, and not to know the capacity of one's own stomach; show how often the drunkard does things which make him blush when he is sober; state that drunkennessa is nothing but a condition of insanity purposely assumed. Prolong the drunkard's condition to several days; will you have any doubt about his madness? Even as it is, the madness is no less; it merely lasts a shorter time. Think of Alexander of Macedon ["Name of five kings of Macedonia". This reference: Alexander the Great, King 336 - 323 B.C.E. (356 - 323)],b who stabbed Clitus [also, Cleitus: died 329 B.C.E. ("saved Alexander's life at Granicus River (334 B.C.)" (Webster's Bio. Dict.))], his dearest and most loyal friend, at a banquet; after Alexander understood what he had done, he wished to die, and assuredly he ought to have died." [270-271].

PAGE 1619


"Drunkenness kindles and discloses every kind of vice, and removes the sense of shame that veils our evil undertakings.c ["cThis is the firm conviction of Seneca, himself a most temperate man. Sections 14 and 15 admit that natural genius may triumph over drunkenness; Section 17 may allow (with Chrysippus) a certain amount of hilarity; but the general conclusion is obvious."] For more men abstain from forbidden actions because they are ashamed of sinning ["peccandi": (apparently) "To commit a moral offense, do wrong." (Ox. Latin Dict., 1315)] than because their inclinations are good. When the strength of wine has become too great and has gained control over the mind, every lurking evil comes forth from its hiding-place. Drunkenness does not create vice, it merely brings it into view; at such times the lustful man does not wait even for the privacy of a bedroom, but without postponement gives free play to the demands of his passions; at such times the unchaste man proclaims and publishes his malady; at such times your cross-grained fellow does not restrain his tongue or his hand. The haughty man increases his arrogance, the ruthless man his cruelty, the slanderer his spitefulness. Every vice is given free play and comes to the front. Besides, we forget who we are, we utter words that are halting and poorly enunciated, the glance is unsteady, the step falters, the head is dizzy, the very ceiling moves about as if a cyclone were whirling the whole house, and the stomach suffers torture when the wine generates gas and causes our very bowels to swell." [271].

"Think of the calamities caused by drunkenness in a nation! This evil has betrayed to their enemies the most spirited and warlike races; this evil has made breaches in walls defended by the stubborn warfare of many years; this evil has forced under alien sway peoples who were utterly unyielding and defiant of the yoke; this evil has conquered by the wine-cup those who in the field were invincible. Alexander, whom I have just mentioned [see 1619], passed through his many marches, his many battles, his many winter campaigns (through which he worked his way by overcoming disadvantages of time or place), the many rivers which flowed from unknown sources, and the many seas, all in safety; it was intemperance in drinking that laid him low, and the famous death-dealing bowl of Hercules [now, an inconclusive mythological reference].a" [273].

"What glory is there is carrying much liquor? When you have won the prize, and the other banqueters, sprawling asleep or vomiting [I have experienced the foregoing, several times. Unconscious, before, and after, I (we) accepted it was "fun"], have declined your challenge to still other toasts; when you are the last survivor of the revels; when you have vanquished every one by your magnificent show of prowess and there is no man who has proved himself of so great capacity as you,--you are vanquished by the cask. Mark Antony [82 or 81 - 30 B.C.E.] was a great man, a man of distinguished ability; but what ruined him and drove him into foreign habits and un-Roman vices, if it was not drunkenness and--no less potent than wine--love of Cleopatra [Cleopatra VII: Queen 51 - 30 B.C.E. (69 - 30)]? This it was that made him an enemy of the state; this is was that rendered him no match for his enemies; this it was that made him cruel, when as he sat at table the heads of the leaders of the state were brought in; when amid the most elaborate feasts and royal luxury he would identify the faces and hands of men whom he had proscribed;a [see footnote, 1621] when, though heavy with wine, he yet thirsted for blood. It was

PAGE 1620


intolerable that he was getting drunk while he did such things; how much more intolerable that he did these things while actually drunk! Cruelty usually follows wine-bibbing; for a man's soundness of mind is corrupted and made savage. Just as a lingering illness makes men querulous and irritable and drives them wild at the least crossing of their desires, so continued bouts of drunkenness bestialize the soul. For when people are often beside themselves, the habit of madness lasts on, and the vices which liquor generated retain their power even when the liquor is gone...." [273, 275].

[footnote] 'a"Antony gave orders to those that were to kill Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], to cut off his head and right hand...; and, when they were brought before him, he regarded them joyfully, actually bursting out more than once into laughter, and, when he had satiated himself with the sight of them, ordered them to be hung the forum" (Clough's translation of Plutarch's Antony, p. 172).' [274].

[from: Seneca Moral Essays [see 1614], "On Tranquillity of Mind", XVII. 8-12:

'At times we ought to reach the point even of intoxication, not drowning ourselves in drink, yet succumbing to it; for it washes away troubles, and stirs the mind from its very depths and heals its sorrow just as it does certain ills of the body; and the inventor of wine is not called the Releasera on account of the licence it gives to the tongue, but because it frees the mind from bondage to cares and emancipates it and gives it new life and makes it bolder in all that it attempts. But, as in freedom, so in wine there is a wholesome moderation. It is believed that Solon and Arcesilaus were fond of wine, and Cato has been reproached for drunkenness; but whoever reproaches that man will more easily make reproach honourable than Cato base. Yet we ought not to do this often, for fear that the mind may contract an evil habit, nevertheless there are times when it must be drawn into rejoicing and freedom, and gloomy sobriety must be banished for a while. For whether we believe with the Greek poeta [from footnote a: the Greek sentiment survives in Menander, and, reappears in Horace] that "sometimes it is a pleasure also to rave," or with Plato that "the sane mind knocks in vain at the door of poetry," or with Aristotle that "no great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness"b--be that as it may, the lofty utterance that rises above the attempts of others is impossible unless the mind is excited. When it has scorned the vulgar and the commonplace, and has soared far aloft fired by divine inspiration, then alone it chants a strain too lofty for mortal lips. So long as it is left to itself, it is impossible for it to reach any sublime and difficult height; it must forsake the common track and be driven to frenzy and champ the bit and run away with its rider and rush to a height that it would have feared to climb by itself.

Here are the rules, my dearest Serenus, by which you may preserve tranquillity, by which you may restore it, by which you may resist the vices that steal upon it unawares. Yet be sure of this--none of them is strong enough to guard a thing so frail unless we surround the wavering mind with earnest and unceasing care.' [283, 285] [End of essay]. [See: 1580 (Ritter ("contradictions in Seneca"); "Writers")]].

PAGE 1621

"XC. On the Part Played by Philosophy

in the Progress of Man" [see 1625] [see: The Idea of Progress, An Inquiry

into its Origin and Growth,

J.B. Bury, 1920]

"In these our own times, which man, pray, do you deem the wiser--the one who invents a process for spraying saffron perfumes to a tremendous height from hidden pipes, who fills or empties canals by a sudden rush of waters, who so cleverly constructs a dining-room with a ceiling of movable panels that it presents one pattern after another, the roof changing as often as the courses,b or the one who proves to others, as well as to himself, that nature has laid upon us no stern and difficult law when she tells us that we can live without the marble-cutter and the engineer, that we can clothe ourselves without traffic in silk fabrics, that we can have everything that is indispensable to our use, provided only that we are content with what the earth has placed on its surface? If mankind were willing to listen to this sage [Diogenes (the Cynic) of Sinope c. 410 - c. 320 B.C.E.], they would know that the cook is as superfluous to them as the soldier. Those were wise men, or at any rate like the wise, who found the care of the body a problem easy to solve.


[see 1615].

Follow nature, and you will need no skilled craftsmen...." [405].

PAGE 1622

from: Seneca, Ad Lucilium, Epistulae Morales, In Three Volumes, III, MCMLXII (1925).

"XCV. On the Usefulness of Basic


"there are as many ways of being ill as there are of living. The illustrious founder of the guild and profession of medicinea remarked that women never lost their hair or suffered from pain in the feet; and yet nowadays they run short of hair and are afflicted with gout. This does not mean that woman's physique has changed, but that it has been conquered; in rivalling male indulgences, they have also rivalled the ills to which men are heirs. They keep just as late hours, and drink just as much liquor; they challenge men in wrestling and carousing; they are no less given to vomiting from distended stomachs and to thus discharging all their wine again; nor are they behind the men in gnawing ice, as a relief to their fevered digestions. And they even match the men in their passions, although they were created to feel love passively (may the gods and goddesses confound them!). They devise the most impossible varieties of unchastity, and in the company of men they play the part of men. What wonder, then, that we can rip up the statement of the greatest and most skilled physician, when so many women are gouty and bald! Because of their vices, women have ceased to deserve the privileges of their sex; they have put off their womanly nature and are therefore condemned to suffer the diseases of men." [71].

"Nowadays, however, to what a stage have the evils of ill-health advanced! This is the interest which we pay on pleasures which we have coveted beyond what is reasonable and right. You need not wonder that diseases are beyond counting: count the cooks! All intellectual interests are in abeyance; those who follow culture lecture to empty rooms, in out-of-the way places. The halls of the professor and the philosopher are deserted; but what a crowd there is in the cafés! ....[not germane, tedious sex comments] Nor shall I mention the medley of bakers, and the numbers of waiters who at a given signal scurry to carry in the courses. Ye gods! How many men are kept busy to humour a single belly!" [73].


We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much-vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples? There are no limits to our greed, none to our cruelty. And as long as such crimes are committed by stealth and by individuals, they are less harmful and less portentous; but cruelties are practised in accordance with acts of senate and popular assembly, and the public is bidden to do that which is forbidden to the individual. Deeds that would be punished by loss of life when committed in secret, are praised by us because uniformed generals have carried them out. Man, naturally the gentlest class of being, is not ashamed to revel in the blood of others.[,] to wage war, and to entrust the waging of war to his sons, when even dumb beasts and wild beasts keep the peace with one another." [77, 79].

PAGE 1623


"CII. On the Intimations of Our


[from the "Subject Index": "Syllogisms,...vanity of"]

'it should not be our purpose to discuss things cleverly ["syllogisms"] and to drag Philosophy down from her majesty to such petty quibbles. How much better it is to follow the open and direct road, rather than to map out for yourself a circuitous route which you must retrace with infinite trouble! For such argumentation ["syllogisms"] is nothing else than the sport of men who are skilfully juggling with each other. Tell me rather how closely in accord with nature it is to let one's mind reach out into the boundless universe! The human soul is a great and noble thing; it permits of no limits except those which can be shared every by the gods. First of all, it does not consent to a lowly birthplace, like Ephesus or Alexandria, or any land that is even more thickly populated than these, and more richly spread with dwellings. The soul's homeland is the whole space that encircles the height and breadth of the firmament, the whole rounded dome within which lie land and sea, within which the upper air that sunders the human from the divine also unites them, and where all the sentinel stars [see (star, stars): 1503, 1566, 1570, 1614] are taking their turn on duty. Again, the soul will not put up with a narrow span of existence.

"All the years," says the soul, "are mine; no epoch is closed to great minds; all Time is open for the progress [see 1625] of thought.



PAGE 1624


from: Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.], The Humanist at the Court of Nero, Villy Sorensen, translated by W. Glyn Jones, Canongate, 1984 (1976 Danish).

[Must See!].

"I. Myth and Philosophy

Myth and History

Seneca, who was a contemporary of Jesus [a Fictional character], seems modern in many ways. The problems he encountered as a statesman at the court of Nero, and about which he wrote as a poet and philosopher, the conflict between Realpolitik and humane ideals, between the demand for political commitment and the desire for self-realisation in peace and tranquility, are problems relevant to our time; his humanist ideals are so natural to us that we easily forget that they were less natural and more original in his day.

If Seneca appears to be more modern than many philosophers who are closer to us in time, it is, of course, partly because present-day Europe has more in common with the city of Rome than with the more limited and enclosed society of pre-industrialised Europe. With its worship of quantity, its lack of common spiritual values, its wealth and its poverty, its enjoyment of life and its spleen, its search for entertainment and for salvation, its individualism and its mass psychosis [see 1623], Rome was the great precursor of our own urban civilisation [see 1587 (Ferrero)]...." [9].

[Note: this author (Villy Sorensen), like Anna Lydia Motto, in her book, Guide to the Thought of Lucius Annaeus Seneca [see 1600], of disposition, and/or necessity (cultural expectations, acquiring a publisher, book sales, etc.), accepts, a priori, the Christian stories [see 1629]].

["Villy Sorensen, born in Copenhagen in 1929, is essentially a European writer, firmly rooted in the Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian traditions...." (Harmless Tales, Villy Sorensen, 1991, 8)].

"however modern Seneca's humanist ideas otherwise were, there were two modern [?] ideas which he (like the rest of the ancient world) never acquired: the ideas of objectivity ["scientific, objective criterion" [9]] and progress--the two principles which are essential to our modern, scientific and technical civilisation, and which denote a definitive break with primitive mentality [? (see: 1582, 1601, 1604, 1605, 1622, 1624)]." [10].

[Note: J.B. Bury, The Idea of Progress (several references to Seneca), 1920, has stated part of the above position. Bury suggests the 16th century (p. 7), as the beginning of a "favourable atmosphere", for "The Idea of Progress"].

[See: 1582, 1601, 1604, 1605, 1622, 1624].


PAGE 1625



"in Rome the state religion was a political tool intended to ensure the unity of the State [and, "to ensure" the dominant, etc., persons] [compare: other States; other species (methods of social organization)]. No one has expressed it more clearly and cynically than Polybios [Polybius c. 200 - c. 118 B.C.E.]:

'I think that what is criticised in other peoples keeps the Roman state together; I mean their fear of the gods. For it is manipulated and introduced both into private and public life as much as is humanly possible. It might seem strange to many people, but I believe that they have done it for the sake of the vast majority. For if the task were to form a state of wise men such things would not perhaps be necessary, but as the great mass of people are easily swayed and constantly demand things contrary to the law, moved by foolish urges and violent passions, the only thing to do is to keep them in check through fear of the invisible and by outward show. Therefore I do not believe that it was in thoughtlessness or by mere chance that people in times past were given the idea of gods and an underworld, but am more inclined to the view that our own age is foolishly and short-sightedly trying to drive these concepts out.'" [58].

"The ancient Roman gods were personifications or rather abstractions of everyday tasks, especially the tasks of the farmers, and they were particularly related to those important moments in life--birth, marriage, death--for which the mythical imagination has always had a predilection. According to John Ferguson NINETEEN GODS WENT INTO ACTION AT A BIRTH--and they only existed in and for this function. With all their special gods for this, that and the other, the Romans had as it were formalised the primitive means of experience and systematised a fear of the gods, transforming it into a fear of not observing the rules [see Addition 29, 1288 (Hobbes; Radhakrishnan)]...." [59].

Excursus: from: National Geographic, February 2001, article: "Bushmen" (Southern Africa), "93":

'"MYTHOLOGY IS ONE OF THEIR FEW ASSETS," says anthropologist James Suzman.'

PAGE 1626

"It was very easy, also for women, to obtain a divorce, for marriage was not 'sacred' to the Romans, and it was no concern of the State; like adoption, it had from ancient times been a means of creating an alliance between families, and during the republic divorces for political reasons had been very common. Originally the woman, who was considered to be of marriageable age at 12, was subject to the authority either of her father or her husband in the marriage; in Seneca's [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] day she herself had the final say on whether to marry, and in her marriage she kept her legal right to any fortune she might have. Marriage was entered into in a private ceremony which J. Carcopino has described and which in his opinion served as the model for the Christian church wedding; a Roman marriage was admittedly not made in heaven, but an auspex made sure that the auspices were good and that the gods thus looked with favour upon the marriage. Seneca's second wife was called Pompeja Paulina and was, judging by her name, the daughter (or sister) of the prefect for corn supplies, Pompejus Paulinus, to whom Seneca thus had yet another reason for addressing himself." [128].

"Seneca and the Erotic" [128]

"Seneca writes noticeably little about erotic feeling and seems neither to know Plato's enthusiasm for sensuous love nor St. Paul's for fear of the flesh. He certainly wrote on marriage, De matrimonio [see 1592], but what he [Seneca] said we only know from quotations in the Church Fathers. St. Jerome thus quotes him as saying that the wise man does not love with passion but with reason, and in one of his epistles Seneca makes a similar remark: erotic passion is like friendship insofar as it contains its purpose within itself, but as passion it is a sort of 'unhealthy friendship'. The Stoic aim of 'apathy' was not a lack of feeling, but freedom from passion (pathos); Seneca stresses that the Greek work apatheia cannot be translated by a single word. (Cicero had translated it as 'imperturbability'). Language indicates that passion is something suffered, something in which man is passive, despite his restlessness, but love is active, not bound and powerless, but free--and the only effective prescription for love, says Seneca, was formulated by the Stoic Hecaton: 'If you wish to be loved, then love!'

In his tragedy on Phaedra Seneca invented such glowing expressions for erotic passion that it is improbable that he himself did not know what it was. In the letter to Helvia he wrote that sensuous desire can be controlled with the consciousness, that its purpose is propagation and not merely enjoyment; but things are of course not so simple, and there is no [?] reason to deny Seneca the authorship of the two or three more sensuous epigrams, one of which in the Greek manner is addressed to a boy:

Oh, a divine countenance worthy of Apollo or Bacchus, which neither man nor woman can behold with impunity.

Such thoughts were not uncommon in Rome, particularly as the author implies he is willing (or unwilling) [ ? (details?)] also to allow a woman to enjoy the charms of the boy. Seneca also thought up some beautiful expressions for male beauty in his tragedies, though he otherwise rejected [?] 'Greek' love." [129].

PAGE 1627


"Most of the erotic epigrams are written in the manner of Ovid [43 B.C.E. - 17 C.E.] and addressed to girls with charming fictitious names: Basilissa, Arethusa, Cosconia--and Delia.

Talkative ear, what means this ringing in the night? If only I knew who was remembering me so audibly. 'Oh, so you ask who it is who makes your ears ring in the night, ring the night long? Delia is speaking of you.' Delia speaks of me, of course; more gently I hear that hum, murmuring lowly and sweet. Thus Delia used to break the silence of night, and with a voice at once gentle and urgent, with her arms fondly around my neck she caressed my ear with secret words--I am all ears! Yes, she is recognized! Now sounds more tenderly the music of the ear as a truer echo of a lively voice. Oh, let it go on resounding! But, ye gods, even while I say it, the sound fades and dies.

Basilissa, who likes playing hard to get, is told that with her ornaments and her make-up she is banishing beauty--and love, too, for love dislikes the over-ornate and seeks 'artless nature', which Seneca also in other contexts calls delightful.

Seneca did not as far as we know write any poems to Pompeja Paulina ["second wife" (see 1627)], at least not under her proper name, but in one of his last epistles, dating from the last years of his life, he writes that she lives for him and that for her sake he must look after the young person who lives on in him as an old man. For, although Seneca doubtless had taught her the fundamental principles of wisdom, Paulina had not learned to show bravery in her love; this was not surprising, for the life she came to lead with Seneca was not a particularly secure one. He was now at the beginning of his fifties, and was said to be intending to visit Athens, the city of philosophers, but instead he was given an important position in Rome, the city of the Emperor. Despite his prayer to Phoebus

["Phoebus (Roman)

Aspects or known as: Apollo, The Bright One.

Sun god. Phoebus was the Roman title for Apollo. He was the son of Jupiter and Latona and the brother of Diana. Apollo was not originally a sun deity but a god of medicine, music, and prophecy. In the 5th century B.C.E. he was adopted by the Romans, who hoped that his influence would help the people avert the plague. The healing rays of the sun could be considered a symbol for Apollo as Phoebus. See also Apollo." (Encyc. Ancient Deities)],

he [Seneca] was made a praetor--and imperial tutor. In short, he was taken over, occupatus ["Busy, occupied, engaged." (Ox. Latin Dict.)]." [130-131] [End of chapter V.].

[from: Seneca Moral Essays [see 1614], "On Tranquillity of Mind", IX. 2:

"Let food subdue hunger, drink quench thirst; let lust [see 1620, 1627-1628] follow the course of nature; ...." [See: 1580 (Ritter; "Writers")]. [See also: "On the Shortness of Life"]].

PAGE 1628

"Brutality and sexual urges

It is typical that Vindex [Gaius Julius Vindex, d. 68 C.E.] should mention Nero's brutality but immediately add that others have been guilty of similar things; it is worth remembering, for Nero is remembered for more than he committed while many others are remembered for less; who remembers that Constantine the Great murdered his wife and son, his brother-in-law and his nephew for 'political' reasons? TRADITION has been kind to Constantine; he established Christianity as the official [No! This is common Christian Propaganda! See #6, 172] religion, while Nero executed the Christians

["Nero [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] executed the Christians": the classic story, from "Tacitus" [Annals 15:44], regarded by some as a Christian forgery [see Note, below]. Assuming a forgery, was it motivated by Christians, in part, as a distraction from the authentic family murders by Constantine?]." [302].

Excursus: from: Nero, The Man Behind the Myth, Richard Holland, 2000. [See Index, for Seneca]. [Note: the author's imagination is over stimulated by Christian influences (again, a probable necessity, for a publisher, sales, etc. [see 1625])].

[Note: (shunned by (Christian?) scholars) for suggestion, sources, etc., see: Nero Emperor of Rome, Arthur Weigall, 1930].

"Most of the academic scholars now pursuing the quest for the 'historical Jesus' agree that the New Testament, in its original Greek form, is chiefly the creation of people who never met Jesus but who wrote about him some twenty-five or more years after his death. It is not just an interesting coincidence that the myth of Nero as archetypal sadistic monster is chiefly the creation of people who never met him but who wrote about him some fifty or more years after his death....

The quest for the historical Jesus,2 launched to free him from later rhetorical and theological accretions, has become an academic growth industry, from its roots in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment." [vi].

"The legend that Nero 'fiddled while Rome burned'--imagined, here, in an oil painting by Hubert Robert (1733-1808)--will probably never die. In reality, he [Nero] led the fire-fighting operations night and day for more than a week, and at great personal risk, until it was finally extinguished. Afterwards, he imposed strict new building regulations to inhibit future outbreaks." ["114"]. [Note: more details, and, sources, in the text].

[End of Excursus].

[Note: reference to Nero, and, Christians, the "Tradition" is not proven ("Tacitus", Annals, 15:44, not accepted).

My impressions: like "Tradition", regarding Nero and Christians and the Colosseum [see #6, 170 (the tour guide's presentation: "Nero had been responsible for deaths of Christians", is not proven)], the "Tradition", is Christian mendacious Propaganda].


PAGE 1629


from: Seneca, A Philosopher in Politics, Miriam T. [Tamara] Griffin, Oxford, 1976.

[Note: the following, also has application, to evaluation of the construction of the New Testament].


The Seneca Problem

'Without the testimony of Tacitus [c. 56 - c. 120 C.E.], Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] the statesman could hardly exist.'1 ["1R. Syme, Tacitus, Oxford, 1958, p. 552."] Syme's tribute to the historian [Tacitus] contains a remarkable fact about the statesman [Seneca]: he did not discuss his political career or his policies, though he wrote voluminously and in the first person. Only the Apocolocyntosis and De Clementia appear to betray directly his preoccupations as amicus principis. Are the rest of his works simply irrelevant to his political career? This problem is part of a wider one, for it is not merely Seneca the statesman that his works fail to reveal--it is Seneca the man. The surviving prose works, though addressed to contemporaries and concerned with practical moral problems, tell us little about Seneca's external life or about the people and events that formed its setting.2

One important result of this situation is our inability to date most of his works with certainty or precision. Those that can be placed definitely are attached to their dates by only one or two references: Ad Polybium to 43 by a reference to Claudius' imminent triumph;3 De Clementia to late 55 or 56 by a statement of Nero's age;1 the Naturales Quaestiones to 62 or 63 by a report of the Campanian earthquake.2 The dating of the twenty-two ["twenty" (L.D. Reynolds, Texts and Transmission, A Survey of the Latin Classics, Oxford, 1983, 369)] books of the Epistulae Morales hangs on one reference to a historical event: the fire at Lugdunum [modern Lyon, France] ["fire of A.D. 64" [488]] [compare: New Testament: "in the fifteenth year of Tiberius" (see #2, 18, 102.)].3 Fortunately, we need not here review the chronological difficulties of the dialogues. This has been done for most of them in great detail by F. Giancotti, and the problem is frequently discussed.4" ["1"-2].

"The reasons for the paucity of concrete detail are no doubt various: a natural reserve may play some part; the emphasis on the inner life in Seneca's philosophy probably more. Finally, there is the role in which Seneca cast himself: a teacher of morals and a healer of minds. The effect of his standpoint is most striking in the Letters to Lucilius. This work is richer in personal detail and in allusions to contemporary life than any other. Yet we are a long way from Cicero's [106 - 43 B.C.E.] revealing letters to Atticus, one of Seneca's models.4 [see footnote, below]

[footnote] "4Ep. 21.4. Seneca's efforts to make the Letters ["to Lucilius"] appear to be a real correspondence [compare: Letters in the New Testament] are probably due to the influence of this model ["Cicero's...letters to Atticus"]. The character of the Letters is further discussed on pp. 349-53 and in Appendix B4." [3].

PAGE 1630

"The philosophical letters of Epicurus [c. 341 - 271 B.C.E.] were clearly in the forefront of Seneca's mind when he wrote.2 ["2Ep. 21. 5. Seneca even admired his style (Ep. 46.1). The Letters are rich in quotations from Epicurus [see 1602, 1603, 1604]. For their influence on the form of the early letters see p. 352."]

An advanced aspirant to sapientia ["good sense, discernment, discretion, prudence, intelligence" (Latin Dict., Lewis and Short, Oxford, 1962 (1879))], Seneca advises, exhorts, and encourages his friend Lucilius along the path to virtue (27; 38). Despite Seneca's comparison of the Letters to intimate conversations between friends (38; 75; cf. 40.1), personal details are given only, at least in theory, to further this end. They provide material for analysis (e.g. 57; 63.14) or lead to philosophical conclusions (e.g. 53.5; 76). For this purpose, incidents from Lucilius' life (e.g. 28; 47) or other lives (e.g. 27.5; 30; 55.2-7; 101) will do as well. The fact that we are dealing with exempla and not with news is especially clear from the fact that most of the people mentioned are dead [compare: use of Old Testament, by "Christian" writers (see: 1506-1518; etc.)].

Of the living, Seneca himself is the main exemplum (6.5). Lucilius is told to listen in on the author's private dialogue with himself (27) or to imitate Seneca's practice, as illustrated in the Letters, of abstracting a thought for meditation from his daily reading [see 1615] (2.4). Some of Seneca's stories about himself are certainly spun out to add amusement or colour (e.g. 53; 108) and once a technical discussion of olives and vines is pursued for its own sake (86); but these exceptions do not remove the reader's general impressions that he is not really being brought close to the author, that he is being told only what Seneca regards as philosophically interesting and no more. There is no pattern in the incidents recounted, no references back and forth to events. They are pieces of a mosaic whose total shape we are not meant to see." [4].

"How then is Seneca's life to be uncovered? The concrete details that Seneca gives in the Letters can be trusted: several of them can be checked by outside information.3 But the standpoint indicated above may make us wonder if some of the incidents described in the Letters have not been exaggerated or slanted to make the moral point sharper: did Seneca really stay in the bath-house at Baiae more than five minutes (56)? Even if we are not inclined to such a trivial type of scepticism, we must admit that Seneca's picture of his personality in the Letters lacks plausibility and consistency: he [Seneca] is more concerned to offer the public examples of the moral preacher, the pedagogue, the struggling student, the zealous convert, than to portray his real relationship with his addressee Lucilius, or record his own moods.1 ["1G. Misch, A History of Autobiography in Antiquity, Eng. trans., 1950, II, pp. 419 ff."] [See: 1630, 1632]" [4-5].


PAGE 1631


[Appendix] "B. Literary Problems"



"....At first glance, there is one powerful objection to the idea of simulation: why should Seneca take the trouble to disguise the character of his work? His main model must surely have been the philosophical letters of Epicurus,5 and they were, unashamedly, essays in letter form.6 The answer is to be found in Seneca's literary ambitions. No one writing letters in Latin could escape comparison with Cicero's correspondence.1 Seneca himself draws the parallel (118.1), promising his correspondent the immortality that Cicero conferred on Atticus (21.4), and in one letter (97) he quotes at length from one of these letters. Seneca the writer felt obliged to embellish the efforts of Seneca the philosopher [see Addition 27, 1256 (Gibbon ("tensions between the historian [Gibbon] and the literary artist [Gibbon]"))] [see 1630-1631].

The idea that the Epistulae Morales are really dialogues with an epistolary veneer is strengthened by the fact, often remarked,2 that they are very similar in style to the dialogues [Moral Essays (see 1609)]. Thus, though the objections of the fictive interlocutor are often introduced by inquis and might be taken to come from Lucilius, we also find the inquit familiar from the dialogues.3 Even the difference in length, often cited as a distinguishing mark,4 becomes less striking in the later letters, which are very long for letters [apparently, Epistulae Morales, as seen in Vols. II and III (Loeb Classical Library)]. Seneca himself says that letters should have the carelessness and informality of intimate conversation between two people (sermo) in contrast to 'disputationes praeparatae et effusae audiente populo' (Ep. 38). In practice, there is a greater air of casualness and a wider range of subject-matter including personal experiences and a mixture of topics in single letters. But the style and method of argument are basically the same." [418-419].

Comment (reference to Seneca, and his writings): how much help (colleagues, slaves, et al.) did Seneca have? How much plagiarism? Etc.?


PAGE 1632


from: The American Colonial Mind and the Classical Tradition, Essays in Comparative Culture, Richard Gummere, Harvard University Press, 1963.

[Note: there are 10 Index entries for "Seneca (the Younger)" [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.]; too intertwined, to excerpt].


This book is concerned with a topic that has never been treated as a whole--the impact of Greek and Roman ideas on the lives and thoughts of the men who settled and colonized America from the Jamestown of 1607 to the establishment of the United States in 1789.

For a clear understanding of these personalities and activities, it has seemed best to present their indebtedness in the form of essays, largely biographical, rather than in an impersonal "thesaurus" of parallels or quotations, statistically classified. A selective process, dealing with certain significant individuals and episodes, clarifies the relationship of the colonial mind to the ancient heritage and furnishes enough total unity to reveal a definite cultural stage of Western civilization....' ["vii"].

'With all this variety of opinion, the Greco-Roman testimony served as material for churchmen and deists, Tories and patriots, country squires and city merchants, men of learning and self-educated seekers after the equivalent of college. Their treatment of this heritage was informal. To prove a point in a controversy, the same classical passage frequently served as an argument for each side. Texts were often quoted from memory and occasionally altered to suit the circumstances [see 1507]. The colonists played, so to speak, by ear. They were "amateurs" rather than "professionals"; and their leaders, who were interested in the spirit rather than in the techniques of Greece and Rome, would have understood the recommendation of Howard Mumford Jones [1892 - 1980] in his Ideas in America: "Instead of bringing America to Greece and Rome, we should seek to discover what it is that Greece and Rome have to bring to America [see 1640 (Paine)]."' [ix].

"Although this phase ["the impact of Greek and Roman ideas" ["vii"]] of the colonial mind has never been presented synoptically, there are certain branches that have been treated with skill and distinction, recognition of which will be recorded in my notes and bibliographies. Educational statistics and curricula are available. The relation of theology to academic learning has been clarified. The ancient sources of the Constitution have been studied. Greek and Latin books in the libraries of Virginia planters, Philadelphia merchants, or New England divines are fully listed. Modern studies in the field of pure literature are appearing in growing numbers. We have come to see that the classical heritage ranks as a good third to the Bible and the English Common Law and that the Celtic or Teutonic element does not play much of a part until the nineteenth century, except for Jefferson's [Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826] and John Dickinson's [1732 - 1808] special interest in Germanic origins." [xii].


PAGE 1633



A REALLY CULTIVATED MIND IS MADE UP OF ALL THE MINDS OF PRECEDING AGES.--FONTENELLE [1657 - 1757], Digression sur les anciens et les modernes

I should as soon think of closing all my window-shutters to enable me to see, as of banishing the classics to improve Republican ideas.--John Adams [1735 - 1826] to Benjamin Rush [1745 - 1813]

[for very unattractive views of Benjamin Rush, see: The Manufacture of Madness, Thomas Szasz, c1970 (see Index: Negroes; etc.) (see John Rush (son) 151-153); The Age of Madness, Thomas Szasz, 1973, 23-28], 1789' [opposite "1"].

"I The Classical Background

of the Colonial Mind"

'Washington [George Washington 1732 - 1799], not classically trained but with classical tastes, approximates the pattern of his era.25 On his retirement from military service, he ordered busts of Alexander, Caesar, and other personages, "not to exceed fifteen inches in height or ten in width," together with "sundry small ornaments for chimney pieces." For his library he sent for busts of Sallust, Terence, Horace, and Erasmus. An invoice from his English dealer included "A Groupe of Aeneas carrying his father out of Troy, neatly finished and bronzed with copper--three pounds, three shillings. Two Groupes of Bacchus and Flora, each two pounds, two shillings," with instructions as to their places on the chimney piece.' [15].


PAGE 1634


"X The Classical Ancestry of

the Constitution"

'These three authorities--Aristotle [384 - 322 B.C.E.], Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], Polybius [c. 200 - c. 118 B.C.E.]

["Machiavelli [1469 - 1527] was much influenced by Polybius [see Excursus, 1636]" (Hist. Freethought, Robertson, 1936, vol. 1, 412 note)]

[for Machiavelli (and, Polybius), see: Machiavelli, Giuseppe Prezzolini [January 27, 1882 - July 14, 1982 (100!)], 1967 ("translation of" (from?) Machiavelli anticristo, Rome, 1954) (Prezzolini is pro Machiavelli, and, contra the critics of Machiavelli)]

--are given special emphasis here [apparently, in this book] because of their underlying and essential relationship to the American Constitution. There were many others, some of them even more frequently appealed to, who were discussed during the 1787 debates. One finds Plutarch, Demosthenes, Thucydides, Sallust, Xenophon, Tacitus, Livy, Dio Cassius, and the Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus referred to in various connections. There were scattered single-speech sources, to be found in the libraries of squires, lawyers, merchants, and officials; farmers and working men borrowed classical material at second hand. One question naturally arises: Why was Plato almost entirely absent from these debates on the Constitution? The answer is that he was consulted by the colonists as a spiritual adviser rather than as a political scientist.16 Divines like Samuel Johnson of Connecticut, Jonathan Edwards, the Mathers, Mayhew, and Witherspoon rate him as the first among non-Christian writers. Although worshiped by Cicero as a philosopher, and much used by Milton and the "classical republicans" in England, he rarely appeared in colonial America as an authority on governmental matters. Jefferson and Adams agreed that he [Plato] was too visionary for practical purposes. "Plato," said Elbridge Gerry solemnly, "was not a Republican." Polybius, as usual, sums up the situation: "It is not fair to introduce Plato's Republic, which is belauded by some philosophers. For just as we do not admit to athletic contests artists or athletes who have not been in training, so we have no right to admit this constitution for the prize of merit, unless it first give an exhibition of its actual working." Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts, one of the best colonial historians, held that Plato's was an ideal creation, but that his characters were not found in real life.' [178-179].

PAGE 1635



from: Polybius [c. 200 - c. 118 B.C.E.], The Histories, with an English Translation by W.R. Paton, in Six Volumes, III, Harvard; Heinemann, MCMLXXIX (1923).

Book VI. 56.6-15

"the quality in which the Roman commonwealth is most distinctly superior is in my opinion the nature of their religious convictions. I believe that it is the very thing which among other peoples is an object of reproach, I mean superstition, which maintains the cohesion of the Roman State. These matters are clothed in such pomp and introduced to such an extent into their public and private life that nothing could exceed it [compare: Catholic Church: inundations via calendars (Saints' Days, etc.), geographical namings (cities, streets, etc.), etc.], a fact which will surprise many. My own opinion at least is that they have adopted this course for the sake of the common people. It is a course which perhaps would not have been necessary had it been possible to form a state composed of wise men, but as every multitude is fickle, full of lawless desires, unreasoned passion, and violent anger, THE MULTITUDE MUST BE HELD IN BY INVISIBLE TERRORS AND SUCHLIKE PAGEANTRY. For this reason I think, not that the ancients acted rashly and at [sic] haphazard in introducing among the people notions concerning the gods and beliefs in the terrors of hell, but that the moderns are most rash and foolish in banishing such beliefs. The consequence is that among the Greeks, apart from other things, members of the government, if they are entrusted with no more than a talent, though they have ten copyists and as many seals and twice as many witnesses, cannot keep their faith; whereas among the Romans those who as magistrates and legates are dealing with large sums of money maintain correct conduct just because they have pledged their faith by oath. Whereas elsewhere it is a rare thing to find a man who keeps his hands off public money, and whose record is clean in this respect, among the Romans one rarely comes across a man who has been detected in such conduct. ...[the three ellipses represent a sentence in Latin, in the Greek text]" [395, 397] [End of Book VI.].

End of Excursus

PAGE 1636

'XI Epilogue: Adams and Jefferson

The essays in this book, in which the colonial mind has expressed itself through various personalities and episodes, can be summarized by the testimony of the two statesmen whose old-age correspondence offers a retrospective and panoramic view of the years when a colony was being converted into a nation. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, though absent from the Constitutional Convention on diplomatic service, have added yet another classic to American history and literature. Their exchange of letters, after their reconciliation through Benjamin Rush in 1811, reviews most of the issues and events of the time, "in calm of mind, all passion spent." These two writers fit the Emersonian definition of "Man Thinking." The most profound student of political science exchanges ideas with the most versatile contributor to the theory and practice of democracy and human relations. Intellectual without being pedantic, they touch on all phases of colonial culture; and they are artists in their application of the classical tradition.

Adams the Stoic and Jefferson the Epicurean, each preserving loyalty to a nonliturgical Christianity, reviewed the events of the colonial period....' ["191"].

'Their [John Adams and Thomas Jefferson] voluminous reading in history, especially Tacitus [c. 56 - c. 120 C.E.], who was the prime favorite of both men, undoubtedly led them to a fundamental problem stated in the Annals of the Roman [Tacitus]: "A mixed government, composed of three simple forms, is a thing rather to be wished than expected."1 Adams had upheld from youth to old age the Aristotelian canon of executive, council, and popular assembly, in his draft of the Massachusetts state constitution, his Thoughts on Government, and his voluminous Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States. But the Virginian [Jefferson] answered in the affirmative to Adams' question: "Can a popular government preserve itself? If it can, there is reason to hope for all the equality, all the liberty and every other good fruit of an Athenian democracy, without any of its ingratitude, levity, convulsions, or factions." In the end, they settled for the Politeia of Aristotle, Jefferson having some doubts about the judiciary and some fear of a too powerful senate. [see 1534 ("least government")]

They were agreed on the harm done to the science of government since the days of Aristotle [384 - 322 B.C.E.] and Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] by "ECCLESIASTICAL AND IMPERIAL DESPOTISM." They equally abhorred tyrants like Sulla and Caesar, Cleon and the Gracchi. They concluded that the Romans, however great, never possessed real liberty: there was pride, strength, and courage in their leaders but no fundamental harmony because of the gap between rich and poor. They were both skeptical of Augustus' one-man rule. They regarded Solon's reforms as unsatisfactory because of their emphasis on property and gradation according to wealth. The Articles of Confederation were inadequate: "If the thirteen states were put into a league like the Achaean or the Aetolian, each an independent entity, the result would be chaos." But both of them would have sympathized with the opinion of a later scholar, E.L. Godkin, who cited with approval "the composition of the Roman Senate, which consisted of notables who had in some manner rendered the state marked service."2' [192-193].

PAGE 1637


'These two elder statesmen [John Adams and Thomas Jefferson] reveal a mastery of the classics and a practical application of ancient ideas to modern situations. They were at home in Latin, and Jefferson's Greek was actively kept up. "Classics," said Adams, "in spight of our friend Rush, I must think indispensable." Jefferson had thanked his father for insisting upon such training: "I would not exchange this attainment for anything which I could then have acquired and have since acquired."' [193].

'these political philosophers [John Adams and Thomas Jefferson] were allergic to Plato. Jefferson criticized his "foggy mind," wondering how Cicero could have elevated him [Plato] to such a degree of worship. Adams seems to have made a special effort to understand him, writing his friend that in 1784 he went through Plato's works, using Latin and French versions and comparing them with the Greek. He complained that the Republic and the Laws were "a bitter satyre upon all republican government."' [195].

'These two great statesmen [John Adams [1735 - 1826] and Thomas Jefferson [1743 - 1826]] made the past their own possession, interpreting it with charm, originality, and relevance. Those who believe that literature and scholarship should go hand in hand will agree that THIS INTERCHANGE OF LETTERS [John Adams and Thomas Jefferson] [see 1644] CONSTITUTES AN AMERICAN MASTERPIECE. It also represents the high-water mark of the classical tradition in colonial writings. Bacon's happy description of the uses of learning--"Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability"--was never more convincingly exemplified.' [197] [End of Epilogue].

PAGE 1638


from: Seven Wise Men of Colonial America, Richard M. Gummere [translator of Seneca (see 1566, 1587, 1610, 1615, 1633)], Harvard University Press, 1967.


Thomas Paine [1737 - 1809]

Was He Really Anti-classical?"

'"Learning," he [Thomas Paine] declared, "does not consist in the knowledge of languages, but in the knowledge of things to which language gives names [see below (Seneca)]. The Greeks were a learned people; but learning, with them, did not consist in speaking Greek any more than in a Roman's speaking Latin or a Frenchman's speaking French--From what we know of the Greeks, it does not appear that they knew or studied any language but their own--The schools of the Greeks were schools of science and philosophy, and not of languages; and it is in the knowledge of the things that science and philosophy teach, that learning consists. Almost all the scientific learning that now exists came from the Greeks, or the people that spoke the Greek language--It therefore became necessary to people of the other nations that some among them should learn the Greek language, in order that the learning of the Greeks might be known in those languages by translating the Greek books on science and philosophy into the mother tongue of each nation." Hence the study of Greek or Latin as such "was only the drudgery business of a linguist." Hence also the danger of putting the problem into the hands of specialists who force it on the schools and colleges. "All honor to the great masters who are deservedly cultivated, such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, etc." But government should not set up a "factory of notables."

The mere name of antiquity establishes nothing. Herodotus and Tacitus are important, and are judged according to their inspirational interest; but THEY ARE CREDITED ONLY AS FAR AS THEY RELATE THINGS CREDIBLE.26' [91-92].

[from: Seneca Moral Essays [see 1614], "On Tranquillity of Mind", II. 3:

'This abiding stability of mind the Greeks call euthymia, "well-being of the soul," on which there is an excellent treatise by Democritus [c. 460 - 370 B.C.E.]; I[Seneca] call it tranquillity. For there is no need to imitate and reproduce words in their Greek shape; the thing itself, which is under discussion, must be designated by some name which ought to have, not the form, but the force, of the Greek term.' [213, 215] [See above]].

PAGE 1639

'Our reformer [Thomas Paine 1737 - 1809] in the field of the classics has high praise for Athenian democracy: "What Athens was in miniature, America will be in magnitude if only it follows the principle of representation."39 He [Thomas Paine] did not realize that Polybius [c. 200 - c. 118 B.C.E.] [see 1635, 1636] was skeptical about pure democracies, and had raised the question whether the Attica of Pericles [c. 495 - 429 B.C.E.] might not have resembled "a poorly-trimmed boat."40 He found, however, "more to admire and less to condemn in that great people than in anything which history records."41 He [Thomas Paine] was mentally and physically at the farthest remove from the Oxford or Cambridge common room atmosphere; yet, despite his lack of scholarly prominence, [THOMAS PAINE] SUGGESTED A LARGE-SCALE INTERNATIONAL GROUP TO STUDY PAST AND PRESENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO WORLD WELFARE. "A society for enquiring into the ancient state of the world and the state of ancient history, so far as history is connected with systems of religion ancient and modern, may be a useful and instructive institution."42 This tradition must be kept in reasonable balance: "for if we travel still further into antiquity, there are a thousand authorities successively contradicting each other." Hence a respect but not an adoration of the men of old is in order. They should admire us rather than we them. "I have no notion," as Paine said on several occasions, "of yielding the palm ["supreme honour", "prize", etc. (O.E.D.)] of the United States to any Grecians or Romans that ever were born [understandable declamation (politics, animating, etc.) (extent valid?). complex. comparing who?, when?, where?]."43'

[95-96] [End of text ("Notes" and "Index", follow)].

PAGE 1640

Subject Index

Apocrypha, 1496-1497, 1508, 1525

Apocryphal, 1501, 1580, 1586, 1595, 1612, 1643

Aratus, 1496, 1508, 1587

Aristotle, 1496, 1524, 1527, 1540, 1544, 1621, 1635, 1637, 1639

Christian, 1496-1499, passim

Christianism, 1502, 1532, 1535, 1567, 1579, 1588

Christianity, 1496, 1498, passim

dead, 1503, 1512, 1516, 1575, 1578, 1597, 1613, 1631

death, 1500, 1524, 1530, 1532-1534, 1543, 1546, 1552, 1568, 1577-1578, 1581, 1585, 1589, 1606, 1608, 1611, 1613, 1615, 1619-1620, 1626, 1629, 1643

deus ex machina, 1509, 1564

Epicureanism, 1496, 1506, 1524-1540, 1542, 1544-1546

Epicureans, 1524-1525, 1528-1530, 1532-1534, 1540, 1545, 1602

Epicurus, 1496-1498, passim

Epimenides, 1496, 1508, 1570

Greek, 1496, 1498, 1500-1503, 1506-1508, 1519, 1521, 1523-1525, 1529, 1531-1533, 1535, 1538-1540, 1542-1544, 1546-1548, 1552, 1555-1560, 1562, 1565, 1567-1569, 1571-1573, 1575-1576, 1578, 1580, 1583, 1588, 1592, 1601, 1607, 1627, 1629, 1633, 1638-1640, 1643 [see: #22, 466]

heaven, 1500, 1503, 1516, 1547, 1559, 1566, 1568, 1570, 1576-1578, 1596, 1624, 1627

hell, 1567, 1636

immortality, 1525, 1533, 1549, 1552, 1575, 1577-1579, 1586, 1589, 1595, 1597, 1613-1614, 1624, 1632, 1643

Jesus Christ, 1496, 1498-1499, 1500-1501, 1503-1506, 1509-1510, 1514-1517, 1522, 1525, 1532, 1535, 1541, 1543-1544, 1546-1547, 1560-1561, 1563-1565, 1567-1568, 1575, 1578, 1586, 1593, 1597, 1606, 1625, 1629, 1643

PAGE 1641


Jew, 1524, 1540, 1546, 1552

Jewish, 1499, 1506, 1508-1510, 1513, 1525, 1532, 1555, 1560, 1562, 1565-1566, 1569, 1571, 1574, 1576, 1579

Jews, 1500-1502, 1509, 1512, 1557-1559, 1563-1564, 1572, 1578-1579, 1586, 1599

Judaism, 1501-1502, 1508, 1514, 1552-1553, 1558-1559, 1563-1564, 1567, 1579

logos, 1540, 1559-1561, 1564-1566, 1574, 1576-1578

Menander, 1496, 1508, 1531, 1571

moral, 1506, 1523, 1529, 1536, 1552, 1571, 1576, 1580, 1582, 1585-1586, 1590, 1593, 1599-1602, 1613-1614, 1620-1621, 1628, 1630-1631, 1639

Morales (Epistulae Morales, Seneca), 1499, 1566, 1609-1611, 1614-1615, 1618, 1623, 1632

New Testament, 1496-1497, 1499, 1501, 1504-1506, 1508, 1510-1522, 1526, 1529, 1534-1540, 1542, 1544-1545, 1547, 1555, 1558-1561, 1563, 1565, 1568-1572, 1576, 1580, 1606, 1629-1630, 1643

Old Testament, 1496-1497, 1504-1518, 1520, 1522, 1538, 1546, 1559, 1563, 1565, 1573, 1631, 1643

Paul, 1498, 1501-1502, 1505, 1508, 1512, 1516, 1523, 1525, 1536-1549, 1560-1561, 1563, 1566, 1570-1572, 1578, 1580-1581, 1583, 1586-1588, 1592-1593, 1595, 1611-1612, 1627

Philo of Alexandria, 1496, 1498, passim

Philonism, 1496, 1506, 1554-1556

Plato, 1496, 1524, 1529-1531, 1533-1535, 1540, 1543, 1554-1556, 1558, 1562, 1568-1571, 1574-1575, 1578, 1583, 1588, 1591, 1596, 1602, 1613, 1621, 1627, 1635, 1638-1639

progress, 1582, 1601, 1604-1605, 1622, 1624-1625

reincarnation, 1556 [see 1643]

resurrection, 1525, 1533, 1547, 1613, 1643

Seneca, 1496, 1498-1499, passim

PAGE 1642

Socrates, 1496, 1569-1570, 1574, 1578, 1588-1589, 1600, 1613, 1639

soul, 1520, 1549, 1565, 1568, 1570, 1576-1579, 1582, 1588-1589, 1594, 1596, 1604, 1612-1616, 1619, 1621, 1624, 1639, 1643

spirit, 1501, 1509, 1524, 1531-1532, 1535, 1542, 1544, 1547, 1560, 1565-1566, 1569-1570, 1576-1578, 1582, 1588-1590, 1597, 1615-1617, 1620, 1625, 1633, 1635

stars, 1503, 1566, 1570, 1614, 1624

Stoic, 1523-1525, 1528-1530, 1533-1534, 1537, 1540, 1545, 1550-1556, 1569, 1571, 1574, 1580-1582, 1586-1588, 1593, 1600-1605, 1612, 1627, 1637

Stoicism, 1496, 1506, 1523-1524, 1529-1531, 1534-1535, 1537, 1568, 1586-1587, 1609, 1613

[Note: many of the above [1641-1643] subjects, are succinctly addressed by Joseph McCabe, A Rationalist Encyclopaedia, Watts, 1948].

from: Harper's Bible Dictionary, Madeleine S. Miller and J. Lane Miller, Harper, 1973 (c1952).

'Immortality, deathlessness; unending existence. As applied to man, the word implies that he will still continue to exist even though he passes through the experience of death. The ancient Greeks believed in "the immortality of the soul," that is, that there is an immortal element in man that will survive even though the body dies. Although this view has been held by Christians throughout much of the Church's history, the fact that the Greek words meaning "immortality" occur only five times in the N.T. (Rom. 2:7; I Cor. 15:53 f. [1 Cor. 15:54]; I Tim. 6:16; II Tim. 1:10) shows that the concept is not particularly congenial to Biblical thinking. Both O.T. and N.T. think of survival after death in terms of resurrection* of the complete man, soul and body (in some sense), rather than of the continued existence of the soul alone (Isa. 26:19; II Macc. 7:10 f.; Matt. 27:52 f.; I Cor. 15:35-44; Phil. 3:21). The doctrine of man's natural immortality appears only in the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon (2:23-3:4).

The idea of a continuing and happy existence after death was a very late development in O.T. thought and is certainly attested only in Isa. 26:19 and Dan. 12:2 f. In the intertestamental period it was widespread and became one of the distinctive tenets of the Pharisees (Acts 23:6-8; John 11:24). But the doctrine takes on a new depth in the N.T. because the possibility of a life after death for the believer is connected with his relationship to the risen Christ....' [279].


PAGE 1643


from: Letters Sentences and Maxims, by Lord Chesterfield [Philip Dormer Stanhope. 4th Earl of Chesterfield. 1694 - 1773] With a Prefatory Note by Charles Sayle [1864 - 1924] and a Critical Essay by C.A. Sainte Beuve [1804 - 1869], de L'Academie Francaise. The Chesterfield Society, London and New York, n.d.

[found in an antique store, Carlsbad, 6/8/2001 (see 1542)].

"Edition De Luxe

Limited [?] to One Thousand Copies.

Printed for

The Chesterfield Society"

"Chesterfield's Letters."

"Vulgar Scoffers.--[To His Son London, May 10, 1748] Religion is one of their [apparently, Freethinkers ("? 1692": "Free Thinkers". "1708": "Freethinkers" (O.E.D.))] favorite topics; it is all priestcraft; and an invention contrived and carried on by priests, of all religions, for their own power and profit; from this absurd and false principle flow the commonplace, insipid jokes and insults upon the clergy. With these people [apparently, Freethinkers], every priest, of every religion, is either a public or a concealed unbeliever, drunkard, and whoremaster; whereas I [Lord Chesterfield] conceive that priests are extremely like other men, and neither the better nor the worse for wearing a gown or a surplice; but, if they are different from other people, probably it is rather on the side of religion and morality, or at least decency, from their education and manner of life." [142]. [for entire letter, see: Lord Chesterfield's Letters, David Roberts, Oxford, 1992, 80-84].

"Prefatory Note.

By Charles Sayle."

'They ["Letters"] are at the best, as he [Lord Chesterfield] says himself, "what one man of the world writes to another [see 1638]." "I am not writing poetry," he says, "but useful reflections." "Surely it is of great use to a young man before he starts out for a country full of mazes, windings and turnings, to have at least a good map of it by some experienced traveller." And so the old man [Lord Chesterfield] gives us his map of life as he had seen it. It is exactly the same estimate in result as Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] gave in the De Oratore [II. 178]:


THAN BY TRUTH ["REALITY" ("VERITATE" (see Ox. Latin Dict.) (Cicero, De Oratore, Sutton, and, Rackham, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. I, 324, 325))], OR PRECEPTS, OR STANDARD OF RIGHT, OR JUSTICE, OR LAW."' [33].

PAGE 1644

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