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Subjects (abstracts): Orpheus A History of Religions; Zeus A Study in Ancient Religion; Egyptians; Egypt; Alexandria; Robert Taylor; Gnostics; Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity; The Wit of the Greeks and Romans; The Religions of the Roman Empire; Greek and Roman Religion; Winwood Reade

Supplement I: Scriptores Historiae Augustae.

Supplement II: disease; New Testament demonology; King James the First.

Supplement III: historical problems associated with the Library (Libraries) at Alexandria.

Supplement IV: Marcus Tullius Cicero, and Marcus Iunius Brutus.

Supplement V: Celsus On the True Doctrine, A Discourse Against the Christians.

from: Orpheus A History of Religions, Salomon Reinach [1858 - 1932], Newly Revised and Enlarged, Tr. Florence Simmonds, Liveright, 1942 (1930) (1909) (1909 Paris).


Why does the name of Orpheus, "the first of the world's singers," as Lefranc de Pompignan called him, appear on the title-page of this volume? Because he was not merely "the first singer," though the Greeks knew of poems by him which they held to be much earlier than those of Homer. Orpheus was also, to the ancients, the theologian par excellence, founder of those mysteries which ensured the salvation of mankind, and no less essential to it as the interpreter of the gods. Horace [65 - 85 B.C.E.] designates him thus: Sacer interpresque deorum. He it was who revealed first to the Thracians and afterwards to the other Greeks the necessary knowledge of things divine. TRUE, he [ORPHEUS] NEVER EXISTED [compare: Jesus]; but this is of little moment. ORPHISM EXISTED [compare: Christianism ("Christianity")] and, as Jules Girard has justly said, i t was the most interesting fact in the religious history of the Greeks.' [v].

[note: Orpheus appeared 6th century B.C.E. in Greek Art and Literature (oral antecedents, probably, to [at least] 7th century B.C.E.) (Encyc. Philos.)].

[note: Orphic movement appeared 6th century B.C.E. (Encyc. Religion, V. 11, 111)].

PAGE 488

"The fathers of the church were persuaded that Orpheus was the disciple of Moses. They saw in him a type—or rather a prototypeof Jesus, since he to had come to teach mankind, and had been at once its benefactor and its victim. An emperor [Severus Alexander, Roman Emperor 222 - 235 (208 - 235)] placed a statue of Orpheus in his lararium, besides that of the Christian Messiah [from: Scriptores Historiae Augustae. very problematic! see Supplement I]. Between Orphism and Christianity there were, indeed, analogies so evident and so striking that it was impossible to accept them as accidental. A common source of inspiration was assumed." [v].

"If on examination we find something of Orphism in every religion, it is because Orphism made use of elements common to them all, drawn from the depths of human nature, and nourished by its most cherished illusions.

A little book destined to summarize religions and their histories could not invoke a better patron than Orpheus, son of Apollo and a Muse, poet, musician, theologian, mystagogue and authorised interpreter of the gods.

Having explained my title, I may add a few words in justification of the method I have adopted....

Now it is an historian that I propose to deal with RELIGIONS. I see in them the infinitely CURIOUS PRODUCTS OF MAN'S IMAGINATION AND OF MAN'S REASON IN ITS INFANCY; it is as such that they claim our attention." [vi].

'26. Fontenelle [Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle 1657 - 1757] concludes with a few remarks on the BORROWINGS OF THE GREEKS FROM THE PHOENICIANS AND EGYPTIANS [see Robert Taylor (495)], on the misunderstandings that must have arisen among the Greeks from their ignorance of foreign languages, and on the influence of literature, which sometimes preserves, sometimes develops fables, and even creates new ones. "In fables," he concludes, "we need seek nothing more than the history of the errors of the human mind. It is not science to fill one's head with all the extravagances of the Phoenicians and the Greeks [and Christians, et al.] but it is science to know what led the Phoenicians and the Greeks [and Christians, et al.] into these extravagances. ALL MEN ARE SO MUCH ALIKE THAT THERE IS NO RACE WHOSE FOLLIES SHOULD NOT MAKE US TREMBLE."

This last phrase is pregnant with things Fontenelle did not dare to say; he also, like d'Alembert [Jean le Rond D'Alembert 1717 - 1783] (in a letter to Voltaire [François Marie Arouet de Voltaire 1694 - 1778]), thought "the fear of the stake is cooling to the blood."' [14].

PAGE 489

"53. Those who talked and still talk of doing away with religions by police regulations, Voltaires, Holbachs [Paul Heinrich Dietrich, Baron d'Holbach 1723 - 1789] or Edgar Quinets [Edgar Quinet 1803 - 1875] though they be, have ignored the conditions of intellectual progress, and the force of the survivals which obstruct it [?]. Not only have the religions which are at present distributed throughout Europe an indefinite future before them, but we may rest assured that something of them will always remain, because the mysterious and the unknown will always persist in the world....But religions themselves tend to become secularised, like the sciences to which they gave birth, and from which they in their turn are drawing inspiration. Within the span of three centuries, alchemy has become chemistry, astrology has become astronomy, Bossuet's [Jacques Bénigne Bossuet 1627 - 1704] Discours sur l'Histoire universelle has been re-written in a secular vein by Voltaire, Michelet [Jules Michelet 1798 - 1874] and others. An irresistible current is driving all human thought in the direction of secularism. The same thing happened in Greece in the fifth century [B.C.E.], in the time of Hippocrates [?c. 460 - 377 or 359 B.C.E.] and Anaxagoras [c. 500 - 428 B.C.E.], and will happen again long after our day." [25].

• • •

from: Zeus A Study in Ancient Religion, Arthur Bernard Cook, Volume I, Zeus God of the Bright Sky, Biblo and Tannen, 1964 (1940-1914 Cambridge). [a Classic!].

"Herodotos [Herodotus c. 485 - 425 B.C.E.], the first student of comparative religion, boldly identifies Dionysos with Osiris8 and asserts that the so-called Orphic and Bacchic rites were in reality Egyptian and Pythagorean [Pythagoreanism founded 6th century B.C.E., southern Italy (Encyc. Philos.)]9. Whatever the precise value of such generalisations may be, we can at least infer that there were substantial points of agreement between the Dionysiac religion and its Egyptian counterpart10." [437].

[See: Adolf Erman (491); Margaret Murray (493); Robert Taylor (495); Winwood Reade (517)].

PAGE 490

from: The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, Poems, Narratives, and Manuals of Instruction, From the Third and Second Millennia B.C., Adolf Erman [1854 - 1937], Translated into English by Aylward M. Blackman, Methuen, 1927 (apparently, 1923 German).

"in the earlier millennia of their history the Egyptians were the exact antithesis to this ["Chinese...of antiquity...strange people...ossified"] popular conception—a gifted people, intellectually alert, and already awake when other nations still slumbered; indeed, their outlook on the world was as lively and adventurous as was that of the Greeks thousands of years later. That is plainly to be seen in their vast technical achievements, and still more so in their plastic art, which reproduces life so joyously and with so sure a touch." [xxiii]. [repeat, from #1, 3].

"We may...suppose that Canaan was also influenced by Egypt in the sphere of literature, just as it was in that of sculpture. We should certainly encounter Egyptian influence in the literature of the Phoenicians, were that preserved; but in Hebrew literature also, which belongs to so much later a period, there are a number of features that strikingly remind one of the body of Egyptian writings—namely, in the wisdom-literature of the Hebrews, in the Psalms,1 and in the Song of Songs. It might be supposed that similarities of this sort are to be traced, at least indirectly, to Egyptian prototypes. That being so, then even we ourselves must, without suspecting it, have all along been under the influence of the intellectual life of Egypt." [xxvii].

• • •

from: Voices from Ancient Egypt, An Anthology of Middle Kingdom ["2801 - 1640" B.C.E.] Writings, R.B. Parkinson, University of Oklahoma, 1991.

"The modern image of the Egyptians as morbid is unfounded. Preparations for death may dominate the surviving records of their culture, but these sprang from a love for life, such as is revealed in a common phrase on funerary stelae: 'As you love life, as you shun death' (cf. 31c). At a time when the average life expectancy was low (no higher than the twenties [see 492]), death was an all-too-familiar enemy. The elaborate funerary rituals did not celebrate death, but sought to avoid destruction by the 'beatification' of the dead, by assimilating them with the divine (51)." [131].

• • •

PAGE 491

from: The Legacy of Ancient Egypt, Charles Freeman, Advisory Editor John D. Ray, Facts on File, 1997.

"Paintings on tomb walls always showed their subjects in the best of health, exactly as they hoped they would be in the afterlife. Any indication of deformity or disease was rare. In fact, the Egyptians were no more immune to illness than any other people, and the examination of mummies and skeletons shows how vulnerable they were. Many died in infancy, especially around the age of three, when a child transferred from its mother's milk to solid food. The average lifespan was only 29 years, but this reflected the high infant mortality. Those who did survive all the hazards of early life might expect to reach 50. Diseases of the lungs, caused by tuberculosis and the breathing of sand or dust, were common. So were parasites, absorbed from polluted water. The teeth of mummies appear worn down, probably as a result of chewing grit left in grain after it had been ground. Those who survived to 40 usually had worn and, doubtless, painful joints and showed evidence of strained spines." [116]. [See: Supplement II: disease, etc.].

• • •

from: The Egyptian Way of Death, Mummies and the Cult of the Immortal, Ànge-Pierre Leca, Translated by Louise Asmal, Doubleday, 1981 (1979) (1976 French).

'But although death was very important to the Egyptians, life was considered to be more desirable. One sage of the period advised: "Enjoy your days. Delight your nose with balm and sweet perfume, offer lotus garlands to your wife to adorn her arms and neck. Let her whom you cherish be seated at your side, and let singing and music delight your ears. Cast care from you; think only of your pleasure until the day comes to enter into a world where silence reigns....For you must understand that no-one can take his worldly goods with him, and no-one has ever returned after his departure." The worst fear though was that the corpse might be destroyed, which would also destroy its chance of eternal life. "Die not a second time" was written hopefully at the bottom of some coffins.' [xvii].

PAGE 492

'The Greeks and Romans never found Egyptian burial customs reprehensible, though they may have been astonished by them, whereas the early Church fathers were furiously opposed to the preservation of bodies and waxed highly indignant in their writings. When Christianity reached Egypt from Rome, it wanted to impose its own rites and beliefs, and St. Anthony inveighed against mummification: "Never allow my body to be taken to the Egyptians. I do not wish them to have it in their houses...You know how often I have berated those who carry on these practices and how often I have urged them to do away with these customs..." The great St. Augustine [354 - 430] also took part in the controversy and in one of his sermons thundered against mummification, forcefully [professional jealousy?] affirming that the survival of the soul was not the prerogative of embalmed Egyptians and that immortality had nothing to do with preservation of the bod y. Nevertheless, in spite of all these authoritative voices, the Copts, who were Egyptian Christians, continued for several centuries to have themselves embalmed.' [251].

• • •

from: Egyptian Religious Poetry, Margaret A. Murray [1863 - 1963], Pub. John Murray, 1949.

[See biography (Margaret A. Murray): Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. "1961 -1970"].


The importance of Egypt in the study of religion and in the performance of rites and ceremonies attracted attention as early as the time of Herodotus [c. 485 - 425 B.C.E.], for the Greeks were always ready to acknowledge their indebtedness to the people of the Nile Valley. Herodotus puts the matter in a few words: "The Egyptians were the first to discover the year, which they divided into twelve months... The Egyptians were the first who introduced the names of the twelve gods, and the Greeks borrowed those names from them; they were the first to assign altars, images, and temples to the gods, and to carve figures of animals in stone... The Egyptians were also the first who introduced public festivals, processions, and solemn supplications" (Bk, ii, 4, 58).

Palestine was so closely linked geographically with Egypt that the influence of that great civilization must have been immense on the smaller and less civilized country. But to the jealous and barbarian Hebrews the splendour of Egypt was an offence, though they borrowed largely from the ideas and ideals, and even the very language, of the Egyptians. Yet in spite of hatred and malice, the influence of Egypt on the religion of both the Canaanites and Hebrews can be clearly seen, and through the Hebraic Scriptures that influence is found in the later religions, Christianity and Islam.' [23]. [last paragraph, repeat, #1, 3].

PAGE 493

"The Egyptians were the first who asserted the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal". [Herodotus c. 485 - c. 425 B.C.E.] [54]. [repeat, from #3, 71].

• • •

from: Alexandria: A History and a Guide, E.M. Forster [1879 - 1970], Anchor Books, 1961.

"The First Three Ptolemies

Ptolemy I., Soter, 323—285. [possible founder of the Library at Alexandria]

Ptolemy II., Philadelphus, 285—247. ["founder" of the Library at Alexandria]

Ptolemy III., Euergetes, 247—222.

(See Genealogical Tree p. 14)

When Alexander died [323 B.C.E.] the empire was divided among his generals, who ruled for a little in the name of his half-brother or of his son, but who soon proclaimed themselves as independent kings. Egypt fell to the ablest and most discreet of these generals, a Macedonian named Ptolemy. Ptolemy was no soaring idealist. He desired neither to Hellenise the world nor to harmonise it. But he was no cynic either. He respected mental as well as material activity. He had been present at the foundation of Alexandria, and had evidently decided that the place would suit him...." [13].

'The Temple of Serapis.

THE IDEA THAT ONE RELIGION IS FALSE AND ANOTHER TRUE IS ESSENTIALLY CHRISTIAN, and had not occurred to the Egyptians and Greeks who were living together at Alexandria. Each worshipped his own gods, just as he spoke his own language, but he never thought that the gods of his neighbour had no existence, and he was willing to believe that they might be his own gods under another name. The Greeks in particular held this view and had already identified Osiris, god of the world beyond death, with their Dionysus, who was a god of mysteries and also of wine. So when Ptolemy [I] Soter [323 - 285 B.C.E.] decided to compound a god for his new city, he was only taking advantage of this tendency, and giving a local habitation and a name and a statue to sentiments that already existed.

Osiris was the main ingredient. He was already worshipped on the hill of Rhakotis, and he was the most celebrated of the Egyptian deities. To him was added the bull god Apis, of Memphis, whose cult had been recently revived, and out of their names was formed the compound, "Serapis." But WHILE THE ORIGINS AND TITLE OF THE NEW GOD WERE EGYPTIAN, HIS APPEARANCE AND ATTRIBUTES WERE GREEK [see Robert Taylor (495)].' [20-21].

PAGE 494

from: The Diegesis Being A Discovery of the Origin, Evidences, and Early History of Christianity, Never yet Before or Elsewhere so Fully and Faithfully set Forth, By the Rev. Robert Taylor [1784 - 1844], Founder of the Christian Evidence Society and of the Society of Universal Benevolence; reprint: Kessinger, n.d. (1829). [a Classic!].

[See biography (Robert Taylor): Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. XIX].

'"Bind it about thy neck, write it upon the tablet of thy heart"—EVERY THING OF CHRISTIANITY IS OF EGYPTIAN ORIGIN [excellent! now, overstated!].

The first [now, overstated! depends (depended) on available information, and criteria, etc.] and greatest library [founded c. 300 B.C.E.] [see Supplement III] that ever was in the world, was at Alexandria in Egypt. The first of that most mischievous of all institutions—universities, was the University of Alexandria in Egypt; where lazy monks and wily fanatics first found the benefit of clubbing together, to keep the privileges and advantages of learning to themselves, and concocting holy mysteries and inspired legends, to be dealt out as the craft should need, for the perpetuation of ignorance and superstition, and consequently of the ascendency of jugglers and jesuits, holy hypocrites, and reverend rogues, among men.

All the most valued manuscripts of the Christian scriptures are Codices Alexandrini. They very first bishops of whom we have any account, were bishops of Alexandria. Scarcely one of the more eminent fathers of the Christian church is there, who had not been educated and trained in the ARTS OF PRIESTLY FRAUD, in the University of Alexandria,that great sewer of the congregated feculencies of fanaticism.' [61].

'the only common character that runs through the whole body of heretical evidence, is that they [Gnostics] one and all, from first to last, deny the existence of Jesus Christ as a man, and professing their faith in him as a God and Saviour, yet uniformly and consistently hold the whole story of his life and actions to be allegorical. "The greatest part of the Gnostics (taking that name as the most general one for all the heretics of the three first centuries) denied that Christ was clothed with a real body, or that he suffered really."†' ["† Mosheim [Johann Lorenz von Mosheim 1694 -1755], Vol. l, p. 136."]. [367].

PAGE 495

[Excursus (Forgery)]

[from a footnote] "I [Robert Taylor 1784 - 1844] have also before quoted the Testimony of Lucian, p. 376 [see following], as satisfactorily proving the identity of St. Paul". [411]. [See: Paul: #4, 105-151 passim; etc.].

"Testimony of Lucian.

Lucian, in his dialogue entitled Philopatris, speaks of a Galilean with a bald forehead and a long nose, who was carried, (or rather pretended that he had been carried) to the third heaven, and speaks of his hearers as a set of tatterdemalions almost naked, with fierce looks, and the gait of madmen, who moan and make contortions; swearing by the son who was begotten by the father; predicting a thousand misfortunes to the empire, and cursing the Emperor." [376].

[Note: this account is much more elaborate, than the account in the following source (Macleod, 437, 439). Why?].

[Philopatris: FORGERY! 10TH CENTURY! see following].

from: Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180], with an English Translation by M.D. Macleod, In Eight Volumes, VIII, Heinemann, Harvard, MCMLXVII.

"The poor Greek of the Philopatris with its syntactical foibles, its confusion of dialects and its mixture of prose and verse forms betrays this work as being not by Lucian but by an imitator. It is in fact a Byzantine work, as first realised by C.B. Hase in 1813, though the most important contribution to the study of the dialogue is S. Reinach's [Salomon Reinach 1858 - 1932 (see 488)] "La question du Philopatris," in Revue Archéologique 1902.

The dialogue was written in the time of Nicephorus Phocas who recaptured Crete from the Saracens in 961....The dialogue was perhaps written in the spring of 969, or, less probably, of 965". [413].

[Edwin Johnson 1842 - 1901, #4, 106: "....Lucian...betrays no knowledge of any such vigorous personality [Paul]...."].

[Edwin Johnson 1842 - 1901, quoting Cardinal Newman (Grammar of Assent) [regarding the "Latin classics", and "the Fathers"], in his book, The Rise of Christendom, 1890, 15:

'"We are simply at their ["Mediaeval copies"] mercy"'].

[Middle Ages: 5th century—13th, 14th, or 15th centuries].

[See: Supplement I; etc.].

PAGE 496

from: The Gnostics and Their Remains, Ancient and Mediaeval, C.W. King [1818 -1888], Wizards Bookshelf, 1973 (1887) (1864). [a Classic!].

'I have become acquainted with, and, in order thoroughly to master, have made complete translations of, two recently discovered works that throw much light upon many difficult questions in this investigation [The Gnostics]. The one is the 'Refutation of all Heresies,' ascribed either to Origen [c. 185 - c. 254] or Hippolytus [c. 170 - c. 236 (St.)]: its author being intimately acquainted with the doctrines which he holds up for detestation, or for ridicule; and (what makes his criticisms of far higher value to students of the present day) illustrating them by copious extracts from the then so extensive heretical literature, soon to be completely exterminated by the triumph of the "orthodox" Faith.

The other aid is the "Pistis-Sophia," sole survivor of the once numerous family of Gnostic Gospels; but fortunately the most important of them all for our purpose, and the very one for whose escape (in its Coptic disguise) the archaeologist ought to feel most grateful to the IGNORANCE OF THE DESTROYERS. For, whereas the other Gnostic teachers appear (as Hippolytus loves to point out) to build up their systems upon the lines of various Grecian philosophies, the "Pistis-Sophia" makes known to us what were the deepest secrets of the so celebrated Egyptian Mysteries....' [vi-vii].

'FOR IN RELIGION THERE IS NO "NEW THING"; THE SAME IDEAS ARE WORKED UP OVER AND OVER AGAIN; the gold in the sovereign of to-day may first have circulated in the new-coined stater of Croesus ["last king of Lydia (560 - 546 [B.C.E.]), noted for his great wealth" (Webster's N.W. Dict.)].' [viii].

• • •

from: Pistis Sophia ["'Faith–Wisdom'"], Literally translated from the Coptic by George Horner, with an Introduction by F. Legge [see below], Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924.

"To sum up, then, I believe that all the Documents in our text [Pistis Sophia] belong to the School of Valentinus [fl. 138 - 160]. As to date, the First and the greatest part of the Second are probably taken from documents written by Valentinus himself, and therefore before A.D. 160, while the last part of the Second, and the whole of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth, are by the degenerate successors of his school and are arranged in date order. These last may be of any date between A.D. 245 and 388, when we last hear of the Valentinians as an organised sect, and some parts of them may not improbably be later still." [xlviii] [End of Introduction] [F. Legge (see 499)].

PAGE 497

"Literal Translation
of Pistis Sophia

The First Document

But it happened after that Jesus rose out of those who (are) dead, and he spent eleven years speaking with his disciples, and teaching them only as far as the Places of the First precept (Law?), and as far as the Places of the First Mystery, this which (is) the inward of the veil which (is) within the First precept, namely the twenty-fourth mystery out(side) and below; these (Places) which become in the second Space of the First Mystery which (is) before every mystery, the Father in the form of dove. Jesus is saying to his disciples, I came out of that First Mystery, namely [1b] the Last mystery which is the twenty-fourth, and which the disciples knew not and understood not that there is anything within that mystery; but they were thinking of that mystery that it is the head of the Universe, and the head of all those which become." [1] [End of first paragraph].

• • •

from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, Fifteen Volumes and Index, Volume VI, Encyclopedia Press, c1913 (c1909).

'The reductio ad absurdum of these [Gnostic] unbridled speculations can be seen in the Pistis Sophia [c. 160 - c. 388 (Legge (see 397))], in which light-maidens, paralemptores, spheres, Heimarmene, thirteen aeons, light-treasures, realms of the midst, realms of the right and of the left, Jaldabaoth, Adamas, Michael, Gabriel, Christ, the Saviour, and mysteries without number whirl past and return like witches in a dance. The impression created on the same reader can only be fitly described in the words of "Jabberwocky" [from Lewis Carroll]: "gyre and gimble on the wabe".' [598].

PAGE 498

from: Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, From 330 B.C. to 330 A.D., Francis Legge [see 497, 523] [d. 1922], in Two Volumes, Bound as One, University Books, 1965 (1964) (1950) (1915 Cambridge).

[note: the author (Francis Legge) is a Christian apologist [see #22, 432 (apologetics)]; usually, sotto voce (in the Conclusion, louder)].

["Introduction": John C. Wilson (1964)]

'the reader must be able to keep two ideas in mind.

The FIRST is that he is reading about the forerunners and rivals of ancient Christianity. ALL OF THIS IS NO MORE OUTLANDISH THAN WAS ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY ITSELF. One must be able to put aside the modern versions and rationalizations of Christianity....

The SECOND idea that the reader must hold in mind is the quite abrupt and decisive change which came when the Roman state adopted the Christian religion. Major force thereafter intervened in the competition among the religions. To this day we know, at bottom, quite little about the rivals of Christianity, for the good and sufficient reason that THEIR ["RIVALS OF CHRISTIANITY"] HISTORY WAS WRITTEN BY THE VICTORS [CHRISTIANS], WHO BURNED THE BOOKS OF THEIR RIVALS, DESTROYED THEIR CHURCHES, BROKE INTO PIECES THEIR STONE MONUMENTS. As our author [Francis Legge] says elsewhere in his Introduction to one of the Gnostic fragments that escaped destruction, the Pistis Sophia, "We know from Eusebius [Eusebius of Caesarea c. 260 - c. 340] that it was the policy of the triumphant Church after the pact with Constantine [Roman Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (280? - 337)] < B>to destroy all the writings of the heretics, and that this policy was continuous is shown by the advice given by St. Augustine [354 - 430] to burn, without regard for their volume or beauty, all the manuscripts of the Manicheans." ....

The plain fact is that CHRISTIAN DESTRUCTION OF THE ANCIENT RECORDS AND LITERATURE, sometimes dramatic as when bishops led mobs to burn libraries as at Alexandria [possible, classic error (see Supplement III)], in the main not dramatic but ROUTINE CLERICAL ACTIVITY OF DESTRUCTION GOING ON FOR CENTURIES, did succeed in preventing humanity from ever successfully reconstructing what the others ["Rivals of Christianity"] were like.' [vi].

[See: The Dark Side of Christian History, #5, 162].

PAGE 499

["Author's Introduction"]

'Until lately, IT WAS A COMMONPLACE OF RELIGIOUS HISTORY THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD DESTROYED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE ALL TRACES OF THE RELIGIONS THAT SHE HAD SUPPLANTED, which was picturesquely expressed in the phrase that in her victory she had burned the enemy's camp. That this was her conscious policy may be gathered from the advice given by a Pope of the VIIth century, to "break the idols and consecrate the temples" of the heathen1; but of late many relics of the ancient faiths which had before escaped us have been disinterred by the care of scholars. During the last century, the lost heresiology of Hippolytus [c. 170 - c. 236 (St.)] and considerable fragments of works by Gnostic authors were brought to light in circumstances to be described in their place2, while the present decade has not only added to our stock of Gnostic fragments, but has revealed to us on the western frontier of China a hoard of Mani chaean documents rich beyond our hopes3. These are not only valuable by reason of the information they afford, but give us ground for the belief that, as the interest in such matters becomes more widely spread, many more documents throwing light upon the subject will appear.' [xxvii].

[compare: Nag-Hammadi (1945-6); Dead Sea Scrolls (discovered 1947 (to 1960's)); etc.].

"One word may be said in conclusion as to the relations of these RIVAL RELIGIONS between themselves. Whoever studies the documents here described cannot fail to be struck by the fact that CERTAIN IDEAS, PHRASES, AND EVEN WORDS, SEEM COMMON TO THEM ALL. At the time that these documents were written this similarity excited no remark from the orthodox, as it was at once disposed of by the theory that THESE RELIGIONS WERE ONE AND ALL THE INVENTION OF THE DEVIL, AND THEREFORE NATURALLY BORE TRACES OF THEIR COMMON ORIGIN. This explanation, however convenient, does not satisfy the demands of modern criticism, and IT IS therefore NECESSARY TO LOOK FURTHER." [xxvii-xxviii].

Volume I

"To sum up, then, Alexander [King of Macedonia 336 - 323 B.C.E. (356 - 323 B.C.E.] united the whole civilized world for the first time under a single head and gave to it a common language and culture. By the natural gifts of his extraordinary personality, he at the same time set before it a perfect model of kingship and thus ensured the persistence of the monarchical principle for two millennia. This, his conscious work, had a direct effect on the evolution of monotheism, while in other respects his conquests proved the turning point in the history of religions. By breaking down the barriers which racial and lingual divisions had hitherto set up between different nations of the earth, these conquests led to a great fusion of the religions hitherto professed by them, and thus opened the door to the world-religions which were afterwards to share between them his vast Empire....

PAGE 500

THE SPIRIT OF PROSELYTISM [compare: Imperialism] IS ABROAD, AND MAN NOW WANTS TO IMPRESS HIS OWN IDEAS OF THE DIVINE UPON HIS FELLOWS. Above all, we see the beginning of those great associations of mankind for religious purposes which are henceforth to be the principal factors in the world's history, and whose evolution has continued unchecked down to the present day....


[See: Imperialism, #16, 344, 350 (also: 344-351 ("Fascism"))].

'The earliest gods of Egypt of whom we have any record were, as we have seen, either animals or inanimate objects, a fact which is sufficiently explained by their totemic origin2. But spread throughout the basin of the Mediterranean, we find from the earliest times the worship of a god who was from his birth never anything but a man and a man who suffered a veritable death and passion before his resurrection and deification. [1] Thus, in Crete we have the legend of the infant Zagreus, son of Zeus and Persephone, who was treacherously seized by the earth-born 'Titans, torn in pieces, and devoured, but was afterwards reborn as Dionysos to reign over gods and men3. [2] So, too, in Cyprus, Syria, and Phoenicia, we hear of Adonis, the lover of Aphrodite, done to death by the boar's tusk, but returning yearly from the shades to spend part of the year with his mistress. [3] In Asia Minor, again, was told the story of Atys, lover of Cybele, mother of the gods, who fatally mutilated himself in a fit of madness, but after death was resuscitated, and thereafter reigned with Cybele over all Nature. All these three legends bear too close a resemblance to that of OSIRIS for the four to have grown up independently, and although the point is not free from doubt, IT IS IMPROBABLE THAT EGYPT WAS THE SOURCE FROM WHICH THE OTHERS WERE DERIVED1. No direct connection in ancient times can be traced between Egypt and the inland country of Phrygia, which seems to be the birthplace of the majority of these legends; while it is of great importance to remember that Isis, Osiris' queen and sister, is represented in the early Egyptian myths as merely a magician or witch cunning in spells2, whereas in the Phrygian and Syrian legends the consort of the dying god is the "mother of all living" or in other words Nature herself. It seems therefore probable that THE LEGEND OF OSIRIS, LIKE SO MANY OTHER THINGS IN EGYPT, WAS AFRICAN AS TO ITS BODY, BUT ASIATIC OR EUROPEAN AS TO ITS HEAD [see Robert Taylor, 495].' [37-38].

Osiris: "Known period of worship circa 3000 BC until the end of Egyptian history circa 400 AD."

Isis: "Known period of worship" c. 2700 BC—c. 400 AD.

Serapis (Sarapis): 4th century BC [Late Egyptian]—2nd or 3rd century AD in Europe. [Encyc. of Gods, Jordan].

PAGE 501

"In the second century B.C., the temples of the Alexandrian gods were to be found in Delos, Tenedos, Thessaly, Macedonia and the Thracian Bosphorus in Europe, and in Ephesus, Cyzicus and Termessus among other places in Asia Minor1. But their greatest triumph was awaiting them further west. Invited by Hiero II into Sicily, they were not long in working their way up the coast, and a hundred years before our era a temple to Serapis was in existence at Puteoli2. It was evidently no new foundation and had probably been built some fifty years earlier, at which date perhaps the first Isium at Pompeii was also in existence3. Somewhere about 80 B.C., the Alexandrian worship was introduced into Rome itself, and thereafter no action of the authorities was able to expel it4....

under Nero [Roman Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] the worship of the Alexandrian gods was formally recognized by the state6." [52-53].

"there were not less than seven temples of Isis in Rome itself, the number of the Roman faithful must have been very considerable, and on their offerings and the gifts of the state, a large staff of priests was maintained." [79].

'a violent end was soon to be put even to the public exercise of the Alexandrian religion. The conversion of Constantine [Roman Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (280? -337)] had left it unharmed, and we find Julian [Roman Emperor 361 - 363 (c. 331 -363)] writing to the Alexandrians during his brief reign as if the supremacy of their religion in Egypt's capital at any rate was assured3. But under Theodosius [Theodosius I, Roman Emperor 379 - 395 (c. 346 - 395)], an order was obtained from the Emperor for the demolition of the "heathen" temples at Alexandria, and Theophilus [d. 412 (uncle of St. Cyril)], "the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue4," who was bishop of the city at the time, was not the man to allow the decree to remain a dead letter. According to the ecclesiastical historians5, he began operations on the temple of Dionysos, which he converted into a Christian church.' [83].

'The magnificent Serapeum with all its wealth of statues and works of art was destroyed, and a church dedicated to the Emperor Arcadius was afterwards erected on its site.

Thus in the year 391, the chief seat [Serapeum] and place of origin of the Alexandrian religion was laid waste, and the religion itself perished after a successful reign of seven centuries. Ecclesiastical writers say that this was followed by the conversion of several of the "Hellenists" or adherents of the worship of Serapis and Isis to Christianity2, and there seems every likelihood that the story is founded on fact. Is this the reason why we find so many of the external usages of Isis-worship preserved in or revived by the Catholic Church?' [84].

PAGE 502

"when one religion supplants another, it generally takes over from its predecessor such of its usages as seem harmless or praiseworthy. The traditional policy of the Catholic Church in this respect was declared by Saint Gregory the Great [Gregory I, Pope 590 - 604 (c. 540 - 604)], when he told the apostle to the Saxon heathens that such of their religious and traditional observances as could by any means be harmonized with orthodox Christianity were not to be interfered with1, and this was probably the policy pursued with regard to the converts from the worship of Serapis." [85].

'Gibbon [Edward Gibbon 1737 - 1794]2 has painted for us in a celebrated passage the astonishment which "a Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 225] or a Lactantius [c. 250 - c. 325]" would have felt could he have been raised from the dead to witness the festival of some popular saint or martyr in a Christian church at the end of the fifth century. The incense, the flowers, the lights, and the adoration of the relics of the saint would all, we are told, have moved his indignation as the appanage of heathenism. Yet none of these things would have been found in a temple like that of Delphi, where probably no more than one worshipper or sacred embassy penetrated at a time, and where nothing like congregational worship was known. IT WAS, however, THE MODE OF WORSHIP TO WHICH THE HELLENISTIC WORLD HAD BECOME DAILY ACCUSTOMED DURING THE SEVEN CENTURIES THAT THE ALEXANDRIAN RELIGION HAD ENDURED, AND IT I S NOT TO BE WONDERED AT THAT THE CONVERTS BROUGHT IT WITH THEM INTO THEIR NEW FAITH [Christianism ("Christianity")] [see Robert Taylor, 495].' [85].

"The worship of the Virgin as the Theotokos or Mother of God which was introduced into the Catholic Church about the time of the destruction of the Serapeum [391 C.E.], enabled the devotees of Isis to continue unchecked their worship of the mother goddess by merely changing the name of the object of their adoration, and Prof. Drexler gives a long list of the statues of Isis which thereafter were used, sometimes with unaltered attributes, as those of the Virgin Mary3. The general use of images, the suspension in the churches of ex voto representations of different parts of the human body in gratitude for miraculous cures of maladies1, and the ceremonial burning of candles, may also be traced to the same source; while the institution of monachism which had taken a great hold on Christian Egypt, is now generally attributed to St Pachomius, who had actually been in his youth a recluse of Serapis2. Prof. Bury [John Bagnell Bury 1861 - 1927] [see Supplement III], who thinks the action of the earlier faith upon the later in this respect undeniable, would also attribute the tonsure of the Catholic priesthood to a reminiscence of the shaven crowns of the initiates of Isis, to which we may perhaps add the covering of women's heads in churches3." [85-86].

PAGE 503

'"Those who worship Serapis are Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are vowed to Serapis [from: Scriptores Historiae Augustae. see Supplement I]," wrote the Emperor Hadrian [Roman Emperor 117 - 138 (76 - 138)]5 from Alexandria on his visit there in A.D. 124....It is not impossible that the resemblance which thus deceived [sic!] the Emperor was connected with the celebration of the Eucharist among certain sects of Christians1 [see footnote, below]." [86-87].

['The name Eucharist (Gk eucharistia, "thanksgiving")...does not appear in the NT'. (Dict. Bible, McKenzie)].

[comment (assuming Hadrian wrote the above): amusing! the Emperor Hadrian (with his retinue), in 124, on location (Alexandria), was "deceived". Francis Legge (this author), London, c. 1915, was not "deceived".].

[footnote] "1In the Catholic Church at this period the Eucharist [word (Eucharist), not in New Testament] was celebrated, if we may judge from the First Apology of Justin Martyr [c. 100 - c. 165] (c. lvi), in a very simple manner, but apparently in the presence of all the faithful. In that part of the Apostolical Constitutions (Bk VIII. c. 66), which is probably later in date than Justin, the catechumens, heterodox, and unbelievers are directed to be excluded before consecration (see Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, p. 301). It does not follow that the ceremonial was as simple with the Gnostics. Marcus [Gnostic, disciple of Valentinus (fl. 138 - 160)] is said by Irenaeus [c. 130 - c. 200] (Bk I. c. 6, pp. 116, 117, Harvey) to have made the mixture of wine and water in the cup to appear purple and to overflow into a larger vessel; while similar prodigies attend the celebration in the Pistis Sophia and the Bruce Papyrus, for which see Chap. X, infra. As such thaumaturgy was intended to astonish the onlookers, it is probable that the elements were displayed before the whole congregation. That the later form of the ritual of the Christian sacraments was taken from the Gnostics, see Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 295—305, and 307—309, and de Faye, Introduction à l'Ét. du Gnosticisme, Paris, 1903, pp. 106, 107." [87].

"it is necessary that we should glance at those PRE-CHRISTIAN FORMS OF GNOSTICISM, the earliest of which was perhaps that which appeared simultaneously in most parts of the Greek world at the beginning of the vth [fifth] century before Christ and is generally known as Orphism." [120].

"Pre-Christian Gnostics: The Orphici

All scholars seem now agreed that the legendary Orpheus [appeared 6th century B.C.E. (see 488)] never really existed1 [see footnote, 505] [compare: Jesus], and that the many verses and poems attributed to him [Orpheus] were the work of various hands [compare: Jesus]". ["121"]. [See: Jesus: #3, 41-104 passim; etc.].

PAGE 504

[footnote] "1Lobeck in his Aglophamus, Königsberg, 1829, vol. I. pp. 233—1104, makes this clear. It was also the opinion of Aristotle [384 - 322 B.C.E.] according to Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] (de Nat. Deor. Bk I. c. 38). Other authorities are collected by Purser in his article "Orphica" in Smith's Dict. of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1890, vol. II. who quotes with approval Preller's remark that Orpheus was "eine litterarische Collectivperson [see #3, 46 (composite, etc.)]." See also Paul Monceaux in Daremberg and Saglio's Dict. des Antiq. s.v. Orphica." ["121"].

Volume II

"Basilides [fl. 117 - 138] the Egyptian, the leader of another sect, held, according to Irenaeus [c. 130 - c. 200], that the body of Jesus was a phantasm and had no real existence". [16-17].

'Saturnius [Gnostic, 2nd century], another heresiarch ["originator of a heresy", etc.], held, according to both authors [Irenaeus [c. 130 - c. 200]. Hippolytus [c. 170 - c. 236 (St.)].], to the phantasmal theory of Jesus' body, which attained such popularity among other Gnostic sects that "Docetism," as the opinion was called, came to be looked upon by later writers as one of the marks of heresy3, and Hippolytus imagines that there were in existence sects who attached such importance to this point that they called themselves simply Docetics4.' [17].

'Valentinus [fl. 138 -160], from whose teaching, as we shall see, the principal system of the Pistis Sophia [c. 160 - c. 388 (Legge (see 497))] was probably derived, also adhered to this Docetic theory, and said that the body of Jesus was not made of human flesh, but was constructed "with unspeakable art" so as to resemble it, the dove-like form which had descended into it at His baptism leaving it before the Crucifixion5. According to Irenaeus, too, Valentinus held that the Passion of Jesus was not intended as an atonement or sacrifice for sin, as the Catholics taught, but merely as a symbol or reflection of something that was taking place in the bosom of the Godhead6.' [17].

"Not only was Alexandria the natural meeting-place of Greeks and Orientals ["easterners"], but it was at the early part of the IInd [second] century a great deal more the centre of the intellectual world than either Athens or Rome." [88].

[Valentinus] "Jesus was accordingly born of the Virgin Mary; He was entirely pneumatic, that is His body was endowed with a spiritual soul, for Sophia Without herself descended into Mary and the germ thus sown by her was formed into a visible shape by the operation of the Demiurge [Gnostic (yours to define)]2." [115].

PAGE 505

[footnote] "2Hippolytus [c. 170 - c. 236 (St.)], op. cit. Bk VI. c. 35, p. 295, Cruice. I have taken what seems on comparison to be the original form of Valentinus' teaching. In the same chapter, Hippolytus tells us that his followers were divided on the question of the composition of the body of Jesusthe Italic School led by Heracleon and Ptolemy averring that it was psychic and that at His baptism only the...[Greek word] came upon Him as a dove, while the Oriental School of Axionicus and Bardesanes maintained that it was pneumatic from the first. Cf. n. 2, p. 116 infra." [115].

'the time...Valentinus passed in Rome was quite sufficient for him to set up a school there, and we are not surprised to hear that thereafter there was a body of Valentinians in the West, which was called the "Italic school."....They...said that the Dodecad or group of twelve aeons, of whom Sophia was the last, emanated not from Logos and Zoe, but from the third syzygy of Anthropos and Ecclesia1; and that the body of the historical Jesus was not material but psychic or from the world of the Demiurge2, which seems to include the view held by other Gnostics that it was a phantasm which only appeared to suffer on the Cross, but did not do so in reality.' [118-119].

"We have seen that Valentinus left Alexandria to settle in Rome before promulgating his new doctrine1, and the Eternal City seems at that time to have drawn to itself as with a magnet all those Oriental teachers of Christianity who wished to make innovation in religion. Rome in the IInd [second] century had become a veritable sink into which poured men of all nations and creeds whether old or new. Besides the great flood of Isiacists, Mithraists, and worshippers of the Great Goddess [?] and of the Syrian Baals, that now began to appear there, Alexander of Abonoteichos [see Lucian, 514-515] came thither under Marcus Aurelius [Roman Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] to celebrate his newly-invented mysteries2, and succeeded in gaining a foothold at the Imperial Court." ["203"].

"That Jesus on His coming was seized and slain by the Jews, with at least the connivance of the Demiurge, Marcion [died c. 160] admitted. But as this might seem like a defeat of the Supreme Being by His inferior, he was forced to accept the theory called Docetism which was in favour with many other Gnostics. According to this, the body of Jesus was not real flesh and blood, and had indeed no actual existence, but was a phantasm which only appeared to mankind in the likeness of a man1. Hence it mattered nothing that this body, which did not really exist, appeared to suffer, to be slain, and even to rise again. The Supreme God was not mocked, and the resurrection of the body was to Marcion a thing unthinkable." [210-211].

[from footnote 4] "The first mention of Buddha in Greek literature is said to be that by Clem. Alex. [Clement of Alexandria, c. 150 - c. 215] Strom. Bk I. c. 15." [286].

PAGE 506

"Manes [(also: Mani) c. 216 - 276] entirely rejected the account of the Incarnation given in the Gospels, alleging, as a modern critic might do, that it was not the account of eyewitnesses, but a mass of fables which had grown up after the memory of the events recorded had faded away2. Jesus, he said, was not born of woman, but came forth from the Father or First Man, and descended from heaven in the form of a man about thirty years of age3. But the body in which He appeared was an illusion only and was no more that of a real man than the dove which descended upon Him at the baptism in Jordan was a real dove, and it was not true to say that He was put to death by the Romans and suffered on the cross4. So far from that being the case, he declared that Jesus, the mortal or suffering Jesus, was nothing but the universal soul diffused throughout Nature and thus t ormented by its association with matter. Thus, he said, the Jesus patibilis ["suffering", etc.] may be said to be hanging from every tree5." [318].

"If it be really true that any Manichaeans whether Hearers or otherwise kept Sunday as a holiday, it must have been, as Neander [Johann August Wilhelm Neander 1789 -1850] suggests, not because it was the day of the Resurrection, in which their Docetic doctrines prevented them from believing, but as the day of the Sun. In like manner they probably observed Christmas [sic] as the birthday not of Jesus, but of the Sun-god in accordance with the traditions preserved by the worshippers of Mithras4." [349].

[footnote] "4Augustine [354 - 430], c. Faust. Bk XVIII. c. 5, whom he quotes, does not say however that they kept Sunday as a festival, but merely that they [Manichaeans] then worshipped the Sun: Vos in die, quem dicunt solis, solem colitis." [349].

PAGE 507

Table of Dates
[note: quotation marks omitted] Alexander transports many JewstoAlexandria and gives them equal rights with Macedonians.Circa 100. Marcion born; died about 165.
336. Accession of Alexander [King of Macedonia 336 - 323 B.C.E. (356 - 323 B.C.E.)]
331. Foundation of Alexandria.
323. Death of Alexander and first division of Empire.
[c. 300. founding of the Library at Alexandria]
47.Cleopatra [69 - 30 B.C.E. ("queen of Egypt")] made queen jointly with Ptolemy XV.

Antipater and Jewish troops take part in raising of siege of Alexandria.
Julius Caesar repeals Jewish tribute and liability to military service, and gives Jews religious liberty and self-government.
John Hyrcanus II made hereditary ethnarch of Judaea.
14.Accession of Tiberius.
26.Pontius Pilate appointed Procurator of Judaea.

[note: no reference to Jesus, or Christ; or Peter, or Paul]

55.Nero makes worship of Greek Isis religio licita [(provisional) permitted religion]
117-138. Basilides the Egyptian flourished.
121. Justin Martyr born: martyred about 151.
138. Accession of Antonius Pius.
138-160. Valentinus the Gnostic flourished.
147. Irenaeus of Lyons born: died about 202.
150. Tertullian born: died about 220 A.D.
155. Clement of Alexandria born: died about 211.
185. Origen of Alexandria born: died about 253.
337. Baptism and death of Constantine.
[364, 371, 372, 373, 374, 377].

PAGE 508

from: The Wit of the Greeks and Romans, Compiled and Newly Translated by John Ferguson, Leslie Frewin: London, 1968.

[origins? (Preface: "....they remain specimens of Greek and Roman wit.")].

"Hadrian was the most intellectually fascinating of Rome's emperors, a tireless traveller and a man of insatiable curiosity. He reigned from AD 117138. One of his jokes was the talk of Rome. A grey-haired man came with a petition, which was turned down. He thought he would try again, and dyed his hair for the purpose. Hadrian:

I've already said No to your father." [23].


Emperors have a grim time. If they allege conspiracy no-one believes them unless they've actually been assassinated." [24].

"Alexander the Great [King of Macedonia 336 - 323 B.C.E. (356 - 323 B.C.E.)] demanded a formal act of deification from the Greek states. At Sparta the motion ran:

If Alexander wishes to be called a god, agreed." [74-75].

"Simonides, who was living during the early years of the fifth century BC, was one of the two greatest lyric poets of the age....

He was also known as a wit. He was offered a small fee for writing a song in honour of the victor in the mule-race. He declined, saying that semi-donkeys were an unsuitable subject for poetry. When the fee was increased he accepted, and his poem began:

[mule: "the usu. sterile offspring of a male ass and a mare" (Webster's Third)]

Hail, daughters of wind-swift couriers." [90].

"M Tullius Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] ranks among the great forensic and political orators of all time. Those who did not belong to the aristocratic families had a raw deal in Roman politics, but Cicero reached the top by sheer oratorical ability. He was known as a defence advocate, though he made his reputation by his prosecution of Verres. He brought to his work wide learning, a mastery of words and rhythms, considerable legal acumen and biting wit; for his wittiest remarks he would lean forward, chin on hand, in a characteristic pose. His own invention was eked out from three volumes of jokes in his library." [110].

PAGE 509

"Cicero was defending Milo against the charge of murdering P Clodius, who was killed in a gangsters' brawl. The prosecuting counsel was trying to establish a timetable by which Milo could be shown to have been waiting for Clodius, and kept exclaiming: 'When was Clodius killed?' Cicero:

Not soon enough." [112].

"Some of his most biting words in court were directed against the brilliant, free-living Clodia. She was accused of loose relations with many, including her brother. Said Cicero:

I should act with more vigour were I not held in check by my personal dislike of the lady's husbandI beg your pardon, brother; I'm always making that mistake. As it is, I shall proceed circumspectly. I shall go no further than any duty to my client and the nature of the case necessitate. I never thought I should have to take up cudgels against a woman, least of all one whom everyone loves." [113].

"Augustus's [1st Roman Emperor: 27 B.C.E. - 14 C.E. (63 B.C.E. - 14 C.E.)] most brilliant remark was a Greek pun; Greek was not his first language, and to pun in a language not your own involves wit and skill. Herod the Great ["king of the Jews" (ruled 37 - 4 B.C.E. (74 - 4 B.C.E.))] had a bitter familylife; his sons intrigued against one another and he was forced to execute the eldest. Said Augustus, with a sideglance at Jewish food-laws:

I'd rather be Herod's swine than his son." [18].

"Vatinius was stoned when putting on a show of gladiators. He had a bye-law passed that nothing should be thrown in the arena except fruit. Someone asked: 'Is a pine-cone a fruit?' and one wit replied:

Yes, if you're going to throw it at Vatinius." [136].

"Even Augustus did not always get the better of his exchanges. He saw a man taking a drink while in his seat in public in the amphitheater, and sent him a message: 'When I want a meal, I go home.'

Yes, but you're not afraid of losing your seat." [140-141].

PAGE 510

from: The Religions of the Roman Empire, John Ferguson, "Aspects of Greek and Roman Life, General Editor: H.H. Scullard", Cornell, 1970.

[Impressive plates (coins, etc.)].

"Through the 310s the Sun continues to appear on the coins, over the whole Empire, and in all the mints. In AD 317 Licinius put on his coin Jupiter the Protector, Constantine [Roman Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (280? - 337)] put the Unconquered Sun....Even later, when the Sun disappears from the coinage, and the characteristic epithet INVICTVS, unconquerable, is replaced by VICTOR, victorious, the residual devotion [to the Sun] is clear, and in AD 321 the proclamation of Sunday as a day of rest was made precisely because it was Sun-day. Even in the new Christian capital of Constantinople the emperor's statue stood as ApolloHelios with a radiate crown, formed, as he believed, of nails of the true Cross; the inscription ran, 'To Constantine who shines like the Sun.' CONSTANTINE'S GOD was a fusion of the Unconquered Sun and Christ the Victorious, but he remained a god of power, not of love. (Pl. 25)
And the Christians retained the image they had begun to hold, of CHRIST AS SUN OF TRUTH, SUN OF RESURRECTION AND SUN OF SALVATION. (Pl. 86)" [56].

[End of chapter: "The SunGod"].

[Plates] "86, 87 Christian art in a Roman mould [see Christian apologetics (below)]. Left, an early-fourth-century mosaic discovered under St Peter's, portraying Christ sweeping across the heavens in the sun-god's chariot. Note the vine in the background (pp. 56, 237 [512])." ["232"].

[Note: here, "early fourth century", following excerpt (512), "middle of the third century"; here, "in the sun-god's chariot", following excerpt (512), "Christ as the Sun-god", "he drives his two horse chariot"].

"[1] Jewish tradition eschewed the representation of the human figure in art [Jewish influence overstated! see: #2, 34; etc.]. [2] Here then Christians were inevitably directed to Graeco-Roman models, and in so doing absorbed [stole! (see #6, 166)] something [all?] of the pagan originals. [3] So ISIS AND HORUS BECAME THE TYPE OF MADONNA AND CHILD, ORPHEUS OF CHRIST.

[the foregoing 3 sentences are examples of Christian apologetics [see #22, 432]. Christianism ("Christianity") was a Greek-Roman result (with numerous antecedents (see #22, 464-466)). Sentences 2 and 3 ["Here then Christians...."] are modern apologetics. Older apologetics commonly dismissed such "borrowings" (antecedents) as inventions of the Devil! (denial (negation)) (see Wilson, 499)].

PAGE 511

There is a particularly good example recently rediscovered in the excavations under St Peter's; it is a mosaic of Christ as the Sun-god, radiate, cloak flying in the wind as he drives his two-horse chariot across the sky; in the background is the sprawling vine. The exact date is controversial, but a period after the middle of the third century is unlikely to be far out. The vine itself is an ambiguous emblem, meaningfully adapted from Dionysiac worship to the Christian expressions found in The Gospel according to John; it may be seen in the catacombs from an early stage. The concept of the Sun of Righteousness is found in Malachi. What is remarkable about this mosaic is that, so far as we can see, Christ was usually portrayed as beardless [see #9, 225 ("Christ...clean shaven")] at this period. This strongly bearded figure thus represents an assimilation to the Sun-god; it should be remembered that this is the time of that god's greatest power." [237].

[for "mosaic of Christ as the Sun-god", see (same mosaic): #13, 266 ("earliest known Christian mosaic"); Additional References (545)].

• • •

from: Greek and Roman Religion, A Source Book, John Ferguson, Noyes, 1980.

["Political Religion"] 'One of the most telling indications of the political importance of Roman religion may be seen in the fact that Julius Caesar [100 or 102 - 44 B.C.E. ("Roman dictator (from 49)")], an avowed unbeliever, held the office of pontifex maximus, and Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], an avowed sceptic, held the office of augur.

So we may consider divination by means of dreams exploded with all other forms of divination. To tell the truth, superstition has spread throughout mankind and taken advantage of human weakness so that very few are not in its grip. Cicero On Divination 2, 72.

Yet he publicly fostered that superstition.' [See: #23, 469]. [77-78].

PAGE 512

["Greek and Roman Religion"] 'It was not really till the third century A.D. that the old political religion was wearing somewhat thin. Rome had suffered grievous defeat at the hands of Persia. There the religion of Zoroaster flourished, which spoke of the battle of light against darkness, with the Sun as one of the great generals. On the eastern fringes of the Roman empire itself in Syria, the Sun was worshipped. Perhaps he [Sun] would bring new vitality and power to Rome. So in A.D. 274 the soldier-emperor Aurelian established the Sun as the great god of Rome.

He enacted many laws, laws of considerable value at that. He reorganized the priesthoods, founded the Temple of the Sun and gave it a strong College of Priests; in addition he established a fund for repairs and for staff salaries.

Scriptores Historiae Augustae [very problematic source! see Supplement I] The Deified Aurelian 35, 3.

The literary sources play this move down, but the coins show that Aurelian was not just establishing an additional god, but a new Divine Overlord.


H. Mattingly and E.A. Sydenham The Roman Imperial Coinage

Vi Aurelian 319-22.

Coin inscriptions "To the Unconquered Sun" are common. One (like the above, from Cyzicus) shows the Sun handing the Emperor a globe; the inscription reads TO THE SUN OUR DEFENDER (conservatori) (353).' [88].

PAGE 513

["Philosophical Religion"] 'In all this we must pay a tribute to Cicero (102—

43 B.C.). The great orator was a man of genuine culture....he is always notably fair in his presentation. Here, as an example, is the opening of On the Nature of the Gods.

There are many topics in philosophy of which we have as yet no adequate exposition. Brutus [see Supplement IV], and, as you well know, investigation into the nature of the gods is a particularly dark and difficult area. At the same time it is attractive in its relation to psychology and essential for religious discipline. Scholars hold a variety of contradictory views on the subject, and this forms a strong argument that the origin and ground of philosophy is ignorance: the Academics were very wise to withhold assent in areas where there is no certainty. What is worse than hasty judgement? What is so ill-considered, so unfitting to the weighty demeanour of a philosopher, as holding views which are not true or defending without reservation a position taken upon inadequate grounds? On this subject the majority hold that gods exist, a probable conclusion and one dictated by nature, but Protagoras [c. 490 -c. 420 B.C.E.] was agnostic and Diagoras of Melos [late 5th century B.C.E.] and Theodorus of Cyrene [late 5th century B.C.E.] were atheists. Furthermore, those who believe in the existence of gods hold such varied and differing views that it would be a herculean task to go through them all in detail.

Cicero On the Nature of the Gods 1, 1-2.' [111-112].

["Fears and Needs"] 'Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180] has a remarkable account of the religiosity prevalent in Asia Minor in the second century A.D. One of his most entertaining works is an exposure of a rogue and charlatan named Alexander of Abonuteichos.

["Alexander's religious activity covered roughly the years A.D. 150—170. The cult which he established outlasted him for at least a century." (Lucian, Harmon, iv, 1953, 173)]

"Alexander made this dramatic entrance into his homeland after a long period. He was a striking figure, putting on an occasional show of madness and foaming at the mouth. This came easily to him by chewing soapwort, a plant used in dyeing, but others thought the foam an awesome visitation."

PAGE 514

"When the city was overcrowded with people who lacked all brains and sense and were not in the least like human beings (those creatures who live on bread), but were indistinguishable from beasts of the field apart from outward appearance, Alexander went into a particular room and sat on a sofa, robed just like a god, and took the Asclepius [snake (Coluber aesculapii? (Greek Medicine in Rome (532), 46))] from Pella on his lap (a snake, as I have already said, of considerable size and beauty), coiling it round his neck and letting its long tail pour from his lap and trail in part along the ground. Its head was the only part he kept out of sight, under his armpit (the snake would put up with anything)."

'He made a great point of his cytmides, a name he invented for an ointment put together out of bear's fat. Expectations, promotions and inheritances he invariably deferred adding, "All will come about when I choose and when my prophet Alexander intercedes for you with prayer."

The charge fixed for a single response was a drachma and two obols. Don't underestimate it, my friend, or imagine that his income was small. He raked in seventy or eighty thousand drachmas a year. In their avaricious ambition people would submit ten or fifteen petitions at a time. He did not keep it all for himself or put it in the bank. He [Alexander] had a large staff of assistants, subordinates, informants, writers of oracles, recorders of oracles, scribes, sealers and interpreters, and paid each a fair wage.''

["Lucian Alexander or the False Prophet 12-24."].

"The astonishing thing about this episode is the reputation that the oracle ["the mouthpiece of the deity" (O.E.D.), etc.] attained. Even the emperor Marcus Aurelius [Roman Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] consulted it. The snake can be seen on coins, and the oracle was actually still in being more than fifty years after Alexander's death." [135, 136, 138].

["Beliefs About Death"] 'Some epitaphs assert immortality, but none of them is before the fourth century B.C., that is the time of Plato [c. 428 - c. 348 B.C.E.], and the majority, whether in Greek or Latin, are from the Roman period. An attractive example in Greek is the hexameter line from Alexandria:

I am undying, not mortal.Marvellous. Who are you?Isidora.

W. Peek "Griechische Epigramme aus Aegypten"

Bull. Soc. Arch. Alex. 27 (1932) 53.' [145].

PAGE 515

["Beliefs About Death"] 'The vague belief ["spirits of the dead"; "spirits of death"; "supernatural power"; "ancestral spirits"] is sometimes mixed with the traditional mythology of the underworld, and combined with the thought of reunion after death. This is exquisitely used by Martial [c. 40 - c. 104] in a poem [a classic] on the death of a little girl:

Fronto my father, Flaccilla my mother, look after

this girl, my love, my darling,

that poor little Erotion may not be frightened of the black shadows,

or of the monstrous jaws of the hound of hell.

She would have passed the chills of only her sixth winter,

but she lived six days too few.

I'd like her to play carefree, watched by protectors of your age,

to chatter, with my name on her lisping tongue.

Don't let the turf lie hard on her tender bones—and earth,

don't be heavy on her; she was not so to you.

Martial 5, 34.' [155].

Excursus: from: The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll [1833 - 1899], In Twelve Volumes, Volume Twelve, Tributes and Miscellany, C.P. Farrell, Ingersoll Publishers, "Copyrighted 1900". [references to fear].

"At A Child's Grave.

Washington, D.C., January 8, 1882.

My friends: I know how vain it is to gild a grief with words, and yet I wish to take from every grave its fear...."

"....The future has been filled with fear, stained and polluted by the heartless past...."

"....Why should we fear that which will come to all that is? ...."

"....They who stand with breaking hearts around this little grave, need have no fear...."

"....We have no fear. We are all children of the same mother, and the same fate awaits us all. We, too, have our religion, and it is this: Help for the living—Hope for the dead." [End of Tribute] [399-400].

PAGE 516

from: The Martyrdom of Man, Winwood Reade [1838 - 1875], Introduction by F. Legge [see 497, 499], Watts, 1928 (1872).

[See biography (William Winwood Reade): Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. XVI (note: this ("Christian") source can be extremely critical of freethinkers)].

"I intended to have given my authorities in full, with notes and elucidations, but am prevented from doing so by want of space, this volume being already larger than it should be. I wish therefore to impress upon the reader that there is scarcely anything in this work which I can claim as my own. I have taken not only facts and ideas, but phrases and even paragraphs, from other writers. I cannot pay all my debts in full, but I must at least do myself the pleasure to mention those authors who have been my chief guides. On Egypt, Wilkinson, Rawlinson's Herodotus, Bunsen...." [li].

"in the matter of religion I listen to no remonstrance, I acknowledge no decision save that of the divine monitor within me. My conscience is my adviser, my audience, and my judge. It bade me write as I have written, without evasion, without disguise; it bids me to go on as I have begun, whatever the result may be. If, therefore, my religious opinions should be condemned, without a single exception, by every reader of the book, it will not make me regret having expressed them, and it will not prevent me from expressing them again. It is my earnest and sincere conviction that those opinions are not only true, but also that they tend to elevate and purify the mind. One thing at all events I know, that it has done me good to write this book: and, therefore, I do not think that it can injure those by whom it will be read." [lii]

[End of "Author's Preface"].

"The Egyptians laughed in the faces of the Greeks, and called them children, when they talked of their gods of yesterday; and so well did their pupils profit by their lesson that they soon laughed at the Egyptians for believing in the gods at all. Xenophanes [6th century B.C.E.] declaimed against the Egyptian myth of an earth-walking, dying, resuscitated god. He said that if Osiris was a man they should not worship him; and that if he was a god they need not lament his sufferings. This remarkable man was the Voltaire of Greece; there had been free thinkers before his time, but they had reserved their opinions for their disciples. Xenophanes declared that the truth should be made known to all....He was, however, in no way interfered with; religious persecution was unknown in the Greek world except at Athens." [80].

PAGE 517

"The Ptolemies were not unworthy followers of Alexander. They established the museum, which was a kind of college with a hall, where the professors dined together, with corridors for promenading lectures, and a theatre for scholastic festivals and public disputation. Attached to it was the Botanical Garden, filled with medicinal and exotic plants; a menagerie of wild beasts and rare birds; and the famous Library, where 700,000 [? (see Supplement III)] volumes were arranged on cedar shelves....

All the eminent men of the day were invited to take up their abode at the Museum, and persons were despatched into all countries to collect books. It was dangerous to bring original manuscripts into Egypt; they were at once seized and copied; and only the copies were returned....

It was at the Museum also that the Old Testament was translated [Septuagint] under royal patronage into Greek, and at the same time the Zoroastrian Bible, or Avesta Zend." [81-82].

'No doubt most of the museum professors were pitiful "Graeculi," narrow-minded pedants, such as are always to be found where patronage exists: parasites of great libraries....No doubt, much of the astronomy was astrological, much of the medicine was magical, much of the geography was mythical, and much of the chemistry was alchemical....Yet with all this, it should be remembered that from Alexandria came the science which the Arabs restored to Europe, with some additions, after the Crusades. It was in Alexandria that were composed those works which enabled Copernicus [1473 - 1543] to lay the keystone of astronomy, and which emboldened Columbus [1451 - 1506] to sail across the western seas.'


'the policy of the Ptolemies was, on the whole, a policy of peace. Their wars were chiefly waged for the purpose of obtaining timber for their fleet, and of keeping open their commercial routes. They encouraged manufactures and trade, and it was afterwards observed that Alexandria was the most industrious city in the world. "Idle people were there unknown. Some were employed in the blowing of glass, others in weaving of linen, others in the manufacture of the papyrus. Even the blind and the lame had occupations suited to their condition." [see Supplement I ("Hadrian Augustus to Servianus")]

The glorious reigns of the three first Ptolemies extended over nearly a century, and then Egypt began again to decline.' [84-85].

"....The [Egyptian] men are dead, and the gods are dead. Nought but their memories remain. Where now is Osiris, who came down upon earth out of love for men, who was killed by the malice of the Evil One, who rose again from the grave, and became the Judge of the dead? Where now is Isis the mother, with the child Horus on her lap? THEY ARE DEAD; they are gone to the land of the shades. TO-MORROW, JEHOVAH, YOU AND YOUR SON [JESUS] SHALL BE WITH THEM." [407-408]. [repeat, from #23, 481].

PAGE 518



"the religion of the Africans, whether pagan or Moslem, is suited to their intellects, and is therefore a true religion; and the same may be said of Christianity among uneducated people. But Christianity is not in accordance with the cultivated mind; it can only be accepted or rather retained by suppressing doubts, and by denouncing inquiry as sinful. It [Christianity] is therefore a superstition, and ought to be destroyed. With respect to the services which it once rendered to civilisation, I cheerfully acknowledge them, but the same argument might once have been advanced in favour of THE ORACLE AT DELPHI, WITHOUT WHICH THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GREEK CULTURE, AND THEREFORE NO CHRISTIANITY. The question is not whether Christianity assisted the civilisation of our ancestors, but whether it is now assisting our own." [432].

"There has been enough of writing by implication and by innuendo; I do not believe in its utility, and I do not approve of its disguise. There should be no deceit in matters of religion. In my future assaults on Christianity I shall use the clearest language that I am able to command." [432-433].

"As for the advocates of Deism they acknowledge that Christianity is unsuited to the mental condition of the age; they acknowledge that the Bible ought to be attacked as Xenophanes [6th century B.C.E.] attacked Homer [8th century B.C.E.]; they acknowledge that the FABLES OF A GOD IMPREGNATING A WOMAN, OF A GOD LIVING ON THE EARTH, ARE RELICS OF PAGAN SUPERSTITION; they acknowledge that the doctrine of eternal punishment is incompatible with justice, and is therefore incompatible with God. But they declare that Christianity should not be destroyed but reformed; that its barbarous elements should be expelled, and that then, as a pure God-worship, it should be offered to the world." [433].

PAGE 519

"One fact must be familiar to all those who have any experience of human nature. A sincerely religious man is often an exceedingly bad man. Piety and vice frequently live together in the same dwelling, occupying different chambers, but remaining always on the most amicable terms. Nor is there anything remarkable in this. RELIGION IS MERELY LOYALTY: it is just as irrational to expect a man to be virtuous because he goes to church, as it would be to expect him to be virtuous because he went to court....the chief virtues required are of the lickspittle denominationwhat is called a humble and a contrite heart. When a Christian sins as a man, he makes compensation as a courtier. When he has injured a fellow-creature, he goes to church with more regularity, he offers up more prayers, he reads a great number of chapters in the Bible, and so he believes that he has cleared off the sins that are laid to his account. This , then, is the immorality of religion as it now exists. It [Religion] creates ARTIFICIAL VIRTUES and sets them off against ACTUAL VICES." [438]. [See: #5, 164-165].

"Christians believe themselves to be the aristocracy of heaven upon earth; they are admitted to the spiritual court, while millions of men in foreign lands have never been presented. They bow their knees and say that they are miserable sinners, and their hearts rankle with abominable pride. Poor infatuated fools! Their servility is real, and their insolence is real, but THEIR KING [JESUS] IS A PHANTOM and their palace is a dream." [439]. [repeat, from #23, 481].

"we shall now consider the existing generation, and we shall point out the work which must be accomplished, and in which all enlightened men should take a part. Christianity must be destroyed. The civilised world has outgrown that religion, and is now in the condition of the Roman Empire in the pagan days....Entering the Church in their youth, before their minds were formed, they discover too late what it is that they adore, and since they cannot tell the truth, and let their wives and children starve, they are forced to lead a life which is a lie. What a state of society is this in which free-thinker is a term of abuse, and in which doubt is regarded as a sin." [444-445].

"At the time of the Romans and the Greeks the Christian faith was the highest to which the common people could attain. A faith such as that of the Stoics and the Sadducees could only be embraced by cultivated minds, and culture was then confined to a chosen few...." [446].

PAGE 520

"We shall not deny that many beautiful sentiments are often mingled with the faith in a personal Deity, and with the hopes of happiness in a future state; yet we maintain that, however refined they may appear, they are selfish at the core, and that if removed they will be replaced by sentiments of a nobler and a purer kind...." [446].

"I give to universal history a strange but true title—The Martyrdom of Man. In each generation the human race has been tortured that their children might profit by their woes. Our own prosperity is founded on the agonies of the past. Is it therefore unjust that we also should suffer for the benefit of those who are to come? Famine, pestilence, and war are no longer essential for the advancement of the human race. But a season of mental anguish is at hand, and through this we must pass in order that our posterity may rise. The soul must be sacrificed; the hope in immortality must die. A sweet and charming illusion must be taken from the human race, as youth and beauty vanish never to return.

The End." [447].

PAGE 521

Supplement I

from: The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, With an English Translation by David Magie, In Three Volumes, II, Harvard, Heinemann, MCMLXXX (1924).

[also: Vol. 1, 1960 (1921)].

"Editorial Note (1980)

Scholarly research pursued since the first publication of this work in 1922 now requires modification of some of the editor's views. Most authorities today are persuaded that the ostensible multiple authorship of these lives is a wilful deception, that one person is responsible for the collection and the insertion into it of documents which are sheer fabrications, and that the date of this activity is about A.D. 395." [xxxvii].

[See: Emperors and Biography, Studies in the Historia Augusta, Ronald Syme, Oxford, 1971].

[See: The Sources of the Historia Augusta, T.D. Barnes, Collection Latomus, Volume 155, Bruxelles, 1978].

"Similarly [refers to usage by Lenain de Tillemont 1637 - 1698] important was the place that the Historia Augusta occupied among the sources used by Gibbon [Edward Gibbon 1737 - 1794]. Although his critical acumen detected many an instance of historical inaccuracy, and although he did not hesitate to score single instances with characteristic vigour,7 he [Gibbon] accepted in general the information that it offered and even the point of view of the biographer.8" [Vol. 1, 1960 (1921), xxxi].

[Note: following is a classic statement, which is modified by authors]

'His ["Severus Alexander" (Roman Emperor 222 - 235 (208 - 235))] manner of living was as follows: First of all, if it were permissible, that is to say, if he had not lain with his wife, in the early morning hours he would worship in the sanctuary of his Lares, in which he kept statues of the deified emperors—of whom, however, only the best had been selected—and also of certain holy souls, among them Apollonius,4 and, according to a contemporary writer, Christ, Abraham, Orpheus, and others of this same character and, besides, the portraits of his ancestors.5" [235].

[Apollonius died c. 98; Christ (Jesus Christ) 4 BC (etc.)—30 AD (etc.); Abraham c. 1800 BC (etc.) (also: "literary creation", c. 550 BC (Ox. Dict. C.C.)); Orpheus "first appears around 570 BCE on a small black-figured vase." (Encyc. Religion, V. 11, 111)].

PAGE 522

[footnote] "5Containing also a statue of Alexander the Great [King of Macedonia 336 - 323 B.C.E. (356 - 323 B.C.E.)] [also: Vergil; Cicero; "Achilles and the great heroes."]; see c.xxxi.5. Marcus Aurelius [Roman Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] had had a similar chapel, in which he kept statues of his teachers; see Marc., iii. 5."

[235 [239, 241]].

• • •

from: Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, From 330 B.C. to 330 A.D., Francis Legge [d. 1922], In Two Volumes, Bound as One, Volume I, University Books, 1965 (1964) (1950) (1915 Cambridge).

"Alexander Severus had in his palace a lararium or private chapel in which, like most of the later Roman emperors, he placed statues of the gods whose worship he particularly affected. We find there Serapis and Isis, indeed, but surrounded with a great crowd of other divinities together with the images of philosophers like Socrates and Apollonius of Tyana, and—IF THE AUGUSTAN HISTORY [Scriptores Historiae Augustae] IS TO BE BELIEVED—that of the Founder of Christianity Himself1."

[82-83]. [Sources? (The following reference is extremely disappointing)].

[footnote] "1 See Renan, Hibbert Lectures, 1884, p. 197, for authorities." [83].

• • •

from: The Severans, Michael Grant, Routledge, 1996.

"Severus Alexander [Roman Emperor 222 - 235 (208 - 235)] was said to have eclectically cherished busts or statues of Apollonius, as well as Jesus, Abraham and Orpheus,5 [source: Scriptores Historiae Augustae] and it was typical of this cosmopolitan age that he should have done so." [75].

• • •

from: The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, with an English Translation by David Magie, In Three Volumes, III, Harvard, Heinemann, MCMLIV (1932).

[note: this is a very problematic source (see 522 ("Editorial Note"))].

PAGE 523

"...I ["Flavius Vopiscus of Syracuse"] will cite one of Hadrian's [Roman Emperor 117 -138 (76 - 138)] letters, taken from the works of his freedman Phlegon,3 which fully reveals the character of the Egyptians.

VIII. From Hadrian Augustus to Servianus4 ["4Hadrian's brother-in-law (see Hadr., i. 2) whom Hadrian compelled to commit suicide in 136; see Hadr., xv. 8; xxiii. 8."] the consul, greeting. The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumour. There those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. There is no chief of the Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, who is not an astrologer, a soothsayer, or an anointer. Even the Patriarch himself, when he comes to Egypt, is forced by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Christ. They are a folk most seditious, most deceitful, most given to injury; but their city is prosperous, rich, and fruitful, and in it no one is idle. Some are blowers of glass, others markers of paper, all are at least weavers of linen1 or seem to belong to one craft or another; the lame have their occupations, the eunuchs have theirs, the blind have theirs, and not even those whose hands are crippled are idle. Their only god is money, and this the Christians, the Jews, and, in fact, all nations adore...." [399, 401].

PAGE 524

Supplement II

[Note: the health problems (and deaths) from genocide, warfare, viral diseases, pregnancy-birth-infancy-childhood, accidents, assaults, etc., are not presented]

from: Man's Mastery of Malaria, Paul F. Russell, Oxford, 1955.

"One assumes, with Sigerist [H.E. Sigerist], that disease is as old as life.

Fossil bacteria are found in early rocks, in petrified fishes, and in the teeth and jaws of fossil vertebrates. In Egyptian mummies there are embalmed bacteria which seem to be those of tuberculosis and of plague. Calcified eggs of Schistosoma haematobium, the worm parasite that causes schistosomiasis, and enlarged spleens possibly of malaria, have also been found in mummies dating back 3,000 years. In fact, paleopathological studies seem to demonstrate that disease has occurred during thousands of years in the same basic forms." [2-3].

"Certain chimpanzees in Central Africa are naturally infected with what appears to be the identical Plasmodium malariae now found in man. This quartan ["type of malaria in which the paroxysms occur every fourth day" (Webster's N.W. Dict.)] parasite is perhaps the oldest species of plasmodium in the scale of evolution and may have been the first to invade man. Since parasitic infections abound in all the primates, it is not unreasonable to believe that early man suffered likewise." [3].

"No one can know how an infectious fever like malaria originated nor has any one witnessed the birth of a new protozoal disease. But one takes no great liberty with historical truth in assuming that prehistoric man, at least in some of the warmer regions, must have experienced malarial chills and fevers." [3].

"Although references are relatively few and unsatisfactory, it seems reasonable to suppose that in pre-Grecian times malaria was not a serious problem in Egypt and the Near East but was highly prevalent in parts of Mesopotamia, India, and south China. The disease may have been rare in the Nile delta but more common in the upper valley. Egyptologists state that possibly the word AAT, found among the inscriptions of the temple of Denderah, meant malaria." [3].

[temple of Dendarah: Dendera: west bank of Nile, Upper Egypt. "dedicated to the sky and fertility goddess Hathor. Her temple is one of the best preserved in Egypt." foundations to c. 2613 - c. 2494 B.C.E. (Encyc. Brit.)].

• • •

PAGE 525

from: Evidence Embalmed, Modern Medicine and the Mummies of Ancient Egypt, Rosalie David, Eddie Tapp, Manchester University, 1984.

"The diversity of the parasitic infestations in Egyptian mummies is quite staggering (see Table 1)." [94].

"When they worked in the fields, flooded at the inundation, they were likely to have had their hands or feet penetrated by the Bilharzia or Strongyloides larvae. Unless their latrines were well away from their supply of drinking water, the latter would be contaminated and organisms such as Ascaris and Dracuncula likely to be ingested. Moreover, it has been seen that they were also at risk of developing the Taenia and Trichinella worms if they ate undercooked meat. Finally, they were even at risk when coming into contact with their domestic dogs, the latter probably being responsible for the Ecchinococcus infection of Asru and Mummy 22940....all these parasitic infestations had to be dealt with by the ancient Egyptians with very little idea of their cause. Treatment was consequently empirical although it is quite possible that some of the antihelminthics such as pomegranate root, acacia leaves and juniper listed in the Ebers Papyrus for worm infestations may well have been effective.29" [95].

"The other main disease which these studies have revealed is that of sand pneumoconiosis in the lungs. Here again, the ancient Egyptians were prisoners of their environment. They certainly had no way of escaping the fine clouds of dust blown up in sandstorms. Moreover, it may well be that they were at risk from contracting the closely related disease of silicosis whilst following their occupation." [95].

• • •

from: The Conquest of Epidemic Disease, Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, Princeton, 1944.

"The Old Testament theory of pestilence as a punishment for sin emerges as a concept on a far higher spiritual and intellectual plane than that of demonic possession which dominates the New Testament." ["ix"].

"The fifth century B.C. [Greeks] in medicine, as in every other field of human thought, for the first time revealed the inspiring vision of a world no longer the playground of chaotic personalized forces but an orderly universe of law." ["ix"].

"Greek hygiene and Roman sanitation were marked by significant contributions to the cause of public health." ["ix"-x].

PAGE 526

"With the fall of the classic [Greek and Roman world] civilization, there came a tragic recession under the terrible shadows of the Dark Ages—when, FROM A.D. 400 [RISE OF CHRISTIANISM ("CHRISTIANITY")!] TO 1000 NO ONE IN THIS FIELD ["PUBLIC HEALTH"] IN WESTERN EUROPE, OUTSIDE THE ARABIC INFLUENCE, CONTRIBUTED A SINGLE NEW THOUGHT TO THE STREAM OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE—and the pendulum swung back toward primitive demonology." [x].

'In the seventeenth century Anastasius Kircher [Athanasius Kircher 1602 -1680] presented the first clear scientific statement of the concepts of a "contagium animatum"; Redi [Francesco Redi 1626 - 1697] gave the first valid experiments to disprove the theory of spontaneous generation; and Leeuwenhoek [Anton van Leeuwenhoek 1632 - 1723, "pioneer in microscopy"] actually described the bacteria and protozoa. By 1700, the stage was set for a germ theory of disease.' [x].

'THE UNIVERSAL THEORY OF DISEASE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS THAT OF DEMONIC POSSESSION. From the fourth chapter of St. Matthew on, we find numerous references to the healing of the sick and the casting out of devils; "and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments,and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them." There are sixteen other references to such healings in Matthew, nineteen in Mark and twenty in Luke. The most interesting case is, of course, that of the devils expelled from their two human victims into the herd of Gadarene [see #4, 122] swine when "behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea" (Matthew 8; Mark 5; Luke 8). This is an interesting reminder of the concept of TRANSFERENCE.' [11].

"With this background of NEW TESTAMENT DEMONOLOGY [see #3, 61], the tendency of religion and science to revert to animism developed unchecked with the decay of the Greco-Roman civilization in Europe. The elements of superstition which had persisted through classical times were carried into the Christian civilization, reenforced and extended. The Temple of Romulus [apparently, conjecture], a place of healing for young children was replaced [? "famous bronze wolf" was found near] by the Church of St. Theodorus [San Teodoro (called Santo Toto in Rome) (Walks in Rome, Augustus J.C. Hare, 1896, Vol. 1, 144)] ["present church dates from c. 1453" (Rome and Environs, 1985, 231-232)], still used for the same purpose in the nineteenth century." [12].

["Romulus legendary founder and first king of Rome....In 753 BC he founded his city on the Tiber, and in 716 was said to have been carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire." (Cam. Bio. Dict.)].

PAGE 527

'In the third [sic] century, Celsus [2nd century] ["Greek philosopher" (Hoffmann (below), 29)] [see Supplement V] denounced [c. 178] Christ, his Christian followers and the Jewish people, from whom their religion sprang, as magicians; but Origen [c. 185 - c. 254], in answering him, urged that Christian and heathen miracles could be distinguished by their motives and results. There grew up an extensive literature on the difference between sacred and profane practices. The Neo-Platonists drew a sharp contrast between divine theurgy and human magic, the first being considered as a divine mystery or revelation, the other as a mere human art or contrivance. So St. Augustine [354 - 430] says that the miracles of Christians "were wrought by simple confidence and devout faith, not by incantations and spells compounded by an art of depraved curiosity [proto-science?] [see #16, 350 (curiosity)]." One is obviously tempted to paraphrase the famous epigram, "Orthodoxy is my doxy, heterodoxy the other fellow's doxy" by saying, "Theurgy is my magic, magic is the other fellow's theurgy."' [12].

["The World of Demons"] 'The Malleus Maleficarum [see #3, 91], or Hammer for Witches was prepared with the approval of the Pope in 1489 as a compendium of anti-demonological procedure.

The sixteenth century, with the advent of Vesalius [Andreas Vesalius 1514 - 1564] and Copernicus [Nicolas Copernicus 1473 - 1543], is generally considered as marking the beginning of the modern scientific age. Yet it was in this century that MARTIN LUTHER [1483 - 1546] SAID, "I WOULD HAVE NO PITY ON THESE WITCHES; I WOULD BURN THEM ALL."

In the seventeenth century, indeed, there was a world-wide stimulation of the practice of witch-hunting. Tylor [Sir Edward Burnet Tylor 1832 - 1917 ("first professor of anthropology at Oxford", etc.)] says that this general period "can show the good Sir Matthew Hale hanging witches in Suffolk, on the authority of Scripture and the consenting wisdom of all [?] nations; and King James [James I of England and VI of Scotland 1566 - 1625, known for "The King James Bible"] presiding at the torture of Dr. Fian for bringing a storm against the King's ship on its course from Denmark, by the aid of a fleet of witches in sieves, who carried out a christened cat to sea [see Excursus (529), King James the First, Newes From Scotland, 17, etc.]".' [14-15].

[for Martin Luther, see: #3, 92-93; the Tischreden ["Table Talk"] [see #2, 24, 28] of Martin Luther; Biblical Polemics, November-December 1997, 4-6 (which includes reference to: On the Jews and Their Lies ["reissued in Germany, in 1935, by the Nazis."], by Martin Luther); A Rationalist Encyclopaedia, Joseph McCabe, 1948, 367: '....Luther...addressed a pamphlet (Against the Murderous Peasants) to the nobles urging them to "cut them (the peasants) down, slaughter and stab them." He said that their demand for the abolition of serfdom was "against the Gospels, and robbery." ...150,000 of them were killed....'; etc.].

[reference to "Dr. Fian": "the king [James I, of "The King James Bible"] suggested new tortures to the examiners, who were surprised that was possible. They were tried to no avail. Dr. Fian would say no more....

Tried in Edinburgh on December 26, 1590, Fian was found guilty and ["being first strangled" (see 530)] burned...." (James I, Otto J. Scott, 1976, 210-211)].

PAGE 528

Excursus: from: King James the First Daemonologie (1597) Newes From Scotland declaring the Damnable Life and death of Doctor Fian, a notable Sorcerer who was burned at Edenbrough in Ianuary last. (1591)

[Author: King James the First] [reprint: The Bodley Head, 1924].


The Daemonologie of King James, the Sixth of Scotland and First of England, was written, as THE ROYAL AUTHOR states in his Preface, to prove that 'the assautes of Sathan are most certainly practized, & that the instrumentes thereof, merits most severly to be punished.' Such a work has more than a passing interest. It gives the student of history and literature a brief and authoritative guide to THE DARKER BELIEFS OF OUR ANCESTORS; there is, too, much to interest the theologian and the psychologist, whilst the philologist will find the book a mine of rare and curious phrases." [G.B. Harrison (c. 1924)].

"The Preface to the Reader.

The fearefull aboundinge at this time in this countrie, of these detestable slaues of the Deuill, the Witches or enchaunters, hath moved me (beloued reader) to dispatch in post, this following treatise of mine, not in any wise (as I protest) to serue for a shew of my learning & ingine, but onely (mooued of conscience) to preasse / thereby, so farre as I can, to resolue the doubting harts of many; both that such assaultes of Sathan are most certainly practized, & that the instrumentes thereof, merits most severly to be punished: ...."

[Newes From Scotland]

"....[witches] took a Cat and christened it, and afterward bound to each parte of that Cat, the cheefest partes of a dead man, and seuerall ioynts of his bodie, and that in the night following the saide Cat was conueied into the midst of the sea by all these witches sayling in their riddles or Ciues [Sieves] as is aforesaide, and so left the saide Cat right before the Towne of Lieth in Scotland: this doone, there did arise such a tempest in the Sea, as a greater hath not beene seene....

Againe it is confessed, that the said christened Cat was the cause that the Kinges Maiesties Ship at his comming foorth of Denmarke, had a contrary winde to the rest of his Ships...."

["Pages in the original [Newes From Scotland] are not numbered except by signatures."] [16-17].

PAGE 529

"....yet for more tryall of him [Doctor Fian] to make him confesse, hee was commaunded to haue a most straunge torment which was done in this manner following.

His nailes vpon all his fingers were riuen and pulled off with an instrument called in Scottish a Turkas, which in England wee call a payre of pincers, and vnder euerie nayle there was thrust in two needels ouer euen up to the heads. At all which tormentes notwithstanding the Doctor neuer shronke anie whit, neither woulde he then confesse it the sooner for all the tortures inflicted vpon him.

Then was hee with all conuenient speed, by commandement, conuaied againe to the torment of the bootes [this was the second time. from 18-19: "Lastly he was put to the most seuere and cruell paine in the world, called the bootes...."], wherein hee continued a long time, and did abide so many blowes in them, that his legges were crushte and beaten togeather as small as might bee, and the bones and flesh so brused, that the bloud and marrowe spouted forth in great abundance, whereby they were made unseruiceable for euer. And notwithstanding al these grieuous paines and cruell torments hee would not confesse anie thing, so deepely had the deuill entered into his heart...." [27-28].

"...the sayde Doctor Fian was soone after araigned, condemned, and adiudged by the law to die, and then to bee burned according to the lawe of that lande, prouided in that behalfe. Wherevpon hee was put into a carte, and beeing first strangled, hee was immediatley put into a great fire, being readie prouided for that purpose, and there burned in the Castle hill of Edenbrough on a saterdaie in the ende of Ianuarie last past. 1591.

The rest of the witches which are not yet executed, remayne in prison till farther triall, and knowledge of his maiesties pleasure."


" is well knowen that THE KING is the child & servant of God, and they [witches] but seruants to the deuil, hee is the Lords annointed, and they [witches] but vesselles of Gods wrath: HE IS A TRUE CHRISTIAN, and trusteth in God, they [witches] worse than Infidels, for they [witches] onely trust in the deuill....

But heereby it seemeth that his Highnesse caried a magnanimious and undanted mind....

And trulie the whole scope of this treatise dooth so plainely laie open the wonderfull prouidence of the Almightie, that if he had not bene defended by his omnipotencie and power, his Highness had neuer returned aliue in his voiage fr_ Denmarke, so that there is no doubt but God woulde as well defend him on the land as on the sea, where they [witches] pretended their damnable practise.

FINIS." [King James the First 1566 - 1625].

PAGE 530

"One therapeutic practice which is extraordinarily widespread is that of TRANSFERENCE. Among the Babylonians, images were constructed and buried, after the disease had been transferred to them. The miracle of the Gadarene swine involves the same idea, as does the concept of the "scape-goat," and the use of a quickly-running stream [proto-public health?] [proto-baptism?] for the washing away of disease, as described in the Talmud and by Pliny [apparently, Pliny 'the Elder' 23 - 79 C.E.]. Pliny also relates that intestinal disease may be transferred to puppies which have not yet opened their eyes by pressing them to the body and giving them milk from the patient's mouth; also that a cough may be disposed of by spitting in a frog's mouth." [21].

'after this analysis of the basic principles of demonological therapeusis, we may review some of the more important elements in the demonologist's materia medica. We shall find, of course, that polypharmacy [word usage ?] is the rule rather than the exception; yet, however they may be commingled, at least five different types of medicinal agents may be recognized.

The first of these agents are human beings possessed of certain inherent powers over the forces of evil. This is exemplified by the expulsion of demons in the New Testament where, as Osler [W. Osler] says, "the cure is simpleusually a fiat of the Lord, rarely with a prayer, or with the use of means such as spittle. They are all miraculous, and the same power was granted to the apostles [see #8, 200-203]—'power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.'" Through the ages, and down into our own times, saints and holy men of the church have exercised the gift of healing.' [22-23].

'"[1] And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, [2] and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; [3] but will lay them upon all them that hate thee [see #7, 185 (curse)] [proto-germ warfare?]" (Deuteronomy 7:15).' [37].

[note concept of transference]. [compare: Voodoo, etc.].

'Martin Luther [1483 - 1546], in the sixteenth century, said that, "pestilence fever, and other severe diseases are naught else than the devil's work." Cotton Mather [1663 - 1728 ("American clergyman")], in the seventeenth century, defined disease as "the scourge of God for the sins of the world." Here are two concepts which indicate a fundamental difference of outlook.' [39].

PAGE 531

Excursus: from: Greek Medicine in Rome, The Fitzpatrick Lectures on the History of Medicine Delivered at the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1909-1910, with other Historical Essays, The Right Hon. Sir T. Clifford Allbutt, K.C.B., M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S., Hon. F.R.C.P.I., Hon. M.D., Hon. LL.D., Hon. D.C.I., Hon. D.Sc., etc., etc., Regius Professor of Physic in the University of Cambridge Fellow and Sometime Classical Scholar of Gonville and Caius College, Benjamin Blom, 1970 (1921).

'VARRO had much of the quality of judgment and sagacity which still more distinguished Celsus [Aulus Cornelius Celsus "(fl. 1st century AD, Rome)" (Roman medical writer)]; HIS REMARKABLE PROPHECY OF A MICROBIC PATHOLGY is no doubt well known to you:—"animalia quaedam quae non possunt oculi consequi...per aëra intus in corpus per os et nares perveniunt et efficiunt difficiles morbos."2 To such microbes indeed he attributed malaria (De re rust. i. 12. 2). Moreover it is in his pages that we find the first injunction of isolation of persons attacked by infectious diseases. In the course of time such regulations were more frequent and more strongly enforced.' [68].


[MARCUS TERENTIUS VARRO 116 - 27 B.C.E. "Rome's greatest of immense learning and a prolific author." "Dedicated to Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.], Varro's De lingua Latina ("On the Latin Language")". (Encyc. Brit.)]. [See: #23, 467].

'the fathers of the church, or most of them, possessed by the philosophic ideas which I have mentioned, indignantly rejected material means of healing; for to make use of such means was to deify earthly things. Even the dissection of animals was regarded as sorcery, and many physiological errors were defended as supports of theological doctrines. Medicine and religion were no longer as in ancient times independent. Why not go direct to God himself? And the approach to God was, of course, through the Church and the Priest, whose remedies were laying on of hands (see FitzPatrick Lect. p. 32), prayer, and exorcism. Then, as now, fanaticism, whatsoever the good faith of the operators, beat back to lower orders of ideas.' [402].

PAGE 532

[footnote (not referenced above)] "1Harnack, loc. cit. [Eric Harnack. reference, in German] WHEN CHRISTIANITY BECAME THE STATE RELIGION [fourth century] IT BECAME NARROWER AND HARSHER THAN PAGANISM HAD BEEN; AND WAS USED TO STIFLE MEDICINE AND ALL THE SCIENCES." [402].

PAGE 533

Supplement III

Note: the history of the Library (Libraries) at Alexandria, is very complex. Interpretations vary.

from: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 13, 1993.

["Alexandria"] "In 391 Christians destroyed the Sarapeum, sanctum of the Ptolemaic cult and what Cleopatra had saved [?] [see Parsons, 403 (537)] of the great Mouseion ["Greater Library in the Museum" (Bury, 538)] library. In 415 a Christian faction killed the Neoplatonist Philosopher Hypatia [c. 375 - 415], and Greek culture in Alexandria quickly declined." [232].

[according to J.B. Bury; Edward Alexander Parsons; et al.: THE LIBRARY WAS NOT DESTROYED (see Parsons (537-540)].

• • •

from: History of Libraries in the Western World, Michael H. Harris, Scarecrow, Fourth Edition 1995 (1984) (1976) (1970) (1965).

"The origin of libraries, like the origins of speech and of writing, is not known." [3].

"For the purposes of this work it is assumed that a library is a collection of graphic materials arranged for relatively easy use, cared for by an individual or individuals familiar with that arrangement, and accessible to at least a limited number of persons. This definition includes early religious and governmental archives." [3].

'CONTROL: During the last several decades we have witnessed the emergence of a large body of scholarship supporting the anthropologist Levi Strauss's insight that BOOKS AND WRITING HAVE ALWAYS BEEN LINKED WITH POWER. It is becoming increasingly clear that books, and more importantly libraries, have frequently been deployed by powerful classes in society in an attempt to represent the world in ways that serve their interests. These groups have believed that the deployment of a well-selected army of books would prove effective in controlling public opinion and assuring some desired end. Students of library history need to be conscious of the extent to which library development is frequently linked with power, and they would be well advised to pay attention to Mary Beard's reminder that:

PAGE 534

Libraries are not simply the storehouses of books. They are the means of organizing knowledge and...of controlling that knowledge and restricting access to it. They are symbols of intellectual and political power, and the far from innocent focus of conflict and opposition. It is hardly for reasons of security that so many of our great libraries are built on the model of fortresses. (London Review of Books, February 1990, p. 11)' [5-6].

"The Alexandrian Library flourished for several hundred years, and for at least 200 years it was of tremendous importance in the cultural development of the Hellenic world. It drew scholars from great distances and from almost all fields of knowledge. Thousands upon thousands of rolls were bought, copied, stolen, and compiled for its shelves until it contained, according to some estimates, over 600,000 rolls. It must be pointed out that this figure may well be an exaggerated estimate, that many works are present in SEVERAL EDITIONS [AND/] OR COPIES, and that ONE ROLL was probably only about ONE-TENTH OF AN AVERAGE MODERN BOOK. With all these factors considered, the Alexandrian Library was still a tremendous collection and it must have contained most, if not all, of the extant literature of the period. In addition to the volumes in the larger Museum Library, the smaller collection in the Serapeum was reported to contain over 40,000 rolls." [45].

"In 47 B.C., when Julius Caesar was conquering Egypt, the Library is thought to have been at least partially destroyed....

In 273 A.D., the Roman Emperor Aurelian, conquering Egypt once again, burned much of Alexandria, including the Brucheion area, but it is possible that a library and museum may have been rebuilt on a smaller scale.

The Serapeum is thought to have survived until 391 A.D., when it was destroyed [?] [see Parsons (below)] by the Christian Bishop Theophilus [d. 412 (uncle of St. Cyril) (see Legge, 83 (502)], because of its presence in the pagan Temple of Serapis ["no reason to suppose that the library was in the temple." (J.B. Bury (538, 539))].

Finally, anything left of a major library is supposed to have been destroyed by the Moslem conqueror Omar or his armies in 645 A.D. According to one account, the papyrus and vellum rolls were used as fuel to provide hot water for the soldiers' baths [?] [see Parsons, 372 (540)]. If a library was burned at this time, it was more probably a Christian library established in a church or monastery on the original site of the Serapeum [?] [see Parsons, 411 (540)]." [46-47].

[interesting! this book (52) lists Parsons as a (the?) major reference].

• • •

PAGE 535

from: Ptolemaic Alexandria, P.M. Fraser, I·Text, II·Notes, III·Indexes, Oxford, 1972. [a Classic!].

"This decline in the importance of the Library ["Greater Library in the Museum" (Bury, 538)] [at Alexandria] appears to have begun in the later second century B.C., and it may be doubted whether it ever subsequently recovered its prestige as a center of research in the way that the Mouseion seems to have done. In this connection it is necessary to consider the problem of the accidental destruction of the Library by fire during Caesar's [Julius Caesar 100 or 102 - 44 B.C.E. ("Roman dictator (from 49)")] brief Alexandrine War in 48 B.C. This difficult question is ultimately a matter of individual judgement regarding the value of sources....

the Library was within the precincts of the Mouseion [Museum]....

Various totals are given for the number of rolls lost, among which that of 400,000 seems to derive most directly from Livy [59 B.C.E. - 17 C.E.].224 [see note, below]....

It is also to be noted that almost all references to the Alexandrian Library in the Imperial period [27 B.C.E. - 476 C.E.?], other than merely historical references to the past, are to the Serapeum library ["Lesser Library" (Bury, 538)],227 and although this already existed in the Ptolemaic period, the natural conclusion is that it was now that it took the place of the Inner or Royal Library ["Greater Library in the Museum" (Bury, 538)] as the main repository of books and rolls. All considered, then, we are justified in supposing that the contents of the Royal Library, if not wholly destroyed, were at least seriously diminished in the fire of 48 B.C.228" [I·Text 334-335].

[from note 224] "cf. above [83-84], ch. I, note 190, õ I. The figure of 700,000 works destroyed in Aul. Gell. and Amm. Marc. is certainly entitled to even less credit than the 400,000 of the direct Livian tradition, largely fanciful though that too may be. Also to be noted in favour of the destruction of the Royal Library ["Greater Library in the Museum" (Bury, 538)] is Plut. Caes. 49: ...[Greek]." [II·Notes 493-494].

PAGE 536

"The translation of the Scriptures [Septuagint] was certainly the work of many years, and it seems likely that it was not completed, so far as the Hagiographa were concerned, until the mid second century [B.C.],77 while some Apocryphal texts were translated in Egypt substantially later than that.78 It is however clear that the Law, the Pentateuch, the essential texts for synagogal worship, to which alone, strictly speaking, the title 'Septuagint' applies, was already available in translation at least by the later third century B.C.,79 and thus, in the broadest possible way, the story in the Letter of Aristeas enshrines the truth of early translation.

With very few exceptions, the Greek Bible remained the one indispensable written source of JewishHellenistic literary production in Alexandria, and there can be no doubt that it was this version of the Scriptures as translated in Alexandria, and not either an earlier Greek version or a Hebrew one, that [writers of the New Testament, and] the first historians and apologists [see #22, 432 (apologetics)] used." [I·Text 690].

• • •

from: The Alexandrian Library Glory of the Hellenic World, Its Rise, Antiquities, and Destructions, Edward Alexander Parsons [1878 - 1962], The Elsevier Press, 1952.

[a Classic!].

'With the ambition of Cleopatra [69 - 30 B.C.E. ("queen of Egypt")] and the passion of Caesar begins the long history of the vicissitudes or so-called "destructions" of the Alexandrian libraries.

In Caesar's [Julius Caesar 100 or 102 - 44 B.C.E. ("Roman dictator (from 49)")] visit (4847 B.C.) the Library was not destroyed. Some books may have been burned, perhaps Seneca's [Seneca "the Younger" c. 4 B.C.E. - c. 65 C.E. (see Parsons, 291-293)] 40,000.

The infatuated Antony [Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) c. 83 - 30 B.C.E. (fell on his sword)] ruthlessly raped from Pergamum [now, Bergama, Turkey] its great library of 200,000 manuscript rolls, the pride of its Attalid kings, which he gave to Egypt's queen. This gift was balm for Cleopatra, balm for whatever bibliophilic sins she may have been guilty of during Caesar's visit [I have not seen evidence to support this sentence. The account in Parsons, 284-286, is indexed as apocryphal].' [403].

"The Ptolemaic dynasty began and closed in greatness—the amazing genius of Alexander whose vision founded Alexandria, the highest talents of Soter, soldier, diplomat, builder, founder of the Museum-Library, and the sunset genius of the fabulous Cleopatra, who may well have been the greatest of the successors of Alexander1, as she was certainly one of the two greatest antagonists of Rome2." [403].

PAGE 537

[footnote] '2. Dr. Tarn: C.A.H. (X, p. 111): "Rome, who has never condescended to fear any nation or people, did in her time fear two human beings; one was Hannibal

[247 - 182 B.C.E. Carthaginian. "In his ninth year his father [Hamilcar] bade him swear eternal enmity to Rome."], and the other was a woman [Cleopatra]." ....' [403].

"I. Gibbon [Edward Gibbon 1737 - 1794] [reference to A.D. 391]:

The valuable library of Alexandria was pillaged or destroyed; and, near twenty years afterwards, the appearance of the empty shelves excited the regret and indignation of every spectator whose mind was not totally darked by religious prejudice2. ["2Gibbon: op. cit. Ch. XXVIII (Bury ed.)."]....

5. But Dr. Bury [John Bagnell Bury 1861 - 1927] believes otherwise; after noting that Gibbon failed to distinguish between the Greater Library in the Museum ["precincts" of the Museum? (see Fraser (536))] and the Lesser Library in the Serapeum ["precincts" of the Serapeum? (see Bury (538-539))], and that this Library, at least, was not burnt down when Caesar was in Alexandria, Dr. Bury says:

But is it an attested fact that the lesser or daughter library was destroyed in A.D. 391? The sanctuary of Serapis was demolished, but does that imply the demolition of all the buildings connected with the Serapeum? The only evidence on which Gibbon's statement rests is the sentence which he quotes from Orosius [early 5th century]. But Orosius does not mention the Serapeum or speak of a large library. He merely says that he has seen book-cases in temples (which he does not name); and that, since then, he had been informed that the temples had been pillaged and the book-cases emptied. It seems to me highly improbable that Orosius is thinking either of the Alexandrian Library or of the Serapeum. THERE IS NO REASON TO SUPPOSE THAT THE LIBRARY WAS IN THE TEMPLE. I conclude then that there is no evidence that the library of the Serapeum did not survive till the Saracen conquest ["A.D. 6426"] notwithstanding the verdict of Susemihl1.

["1. J. B. Bury, in his edition of Gibbon (Appendix, note 3)." [from 406 (same quotation): "appendix 3 to Ch. xxvii of Gibbon."]]

And so the belief in the tenaciousness of fragile papyrii [sic] and stronger parchments to survive incredible hardship is still strong in men of letters.

And thus it becomes our task to sustain the conclusion of Dr. Bury, that there is no evidence that the Library of Serapeum was destroyed when the Temple of Serapis was devastated, or to use Dr. Bury's own words:

I conclude that there is no evidence that the library of the Serapeum did not survive until the Saracen conquest ["A.D. 6426"]. [restatement]

PAGE 538


"It is curious that IN THE LONG CAREER OF THE ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY ITS DESTRUCTION HAS BEEN DEFINITELY REPORTED BUT TWICEONCE AT THE TIME OF CAESAR'S VISIT (B.C. 47), AND FINALLY AT THE CONQUEST OF ALEXANDRIA BY THE ARABS UNDER 'AMR (A.D. 6426). The first report, we hope, has been shown, in the first chapter of Book IV of this treatise, to have been at least greatly exaggerated, and the second will be treated in the following and concluding chapter of this work." [363].



I conclude then that there is no evidence that the library of the Serapeum did not survive till the Saracen conquest ["A.D. 6426"]." [370].

[restatement, and, another restatement].

[See (J.B. Bury): 357-358, 406, 411].

"In the preceding chapter, we have endeavored to maintain that the Library of the Serapeum survived the fatal destruction of the worship and sanctuary of Serapis by Theophilus in 391 A.D. As NOT A SINGLE WRITER HAS SHOWN OR A SCRAP OF EVIDENCE EXISTS TO RECORD ITS ["Library of the Serapeum"] DESTRUCTION, and as the long and varied history of the Alexandrian Library has at least demonstrated its peculiar quality to survive disaster, it is indeed strange that such a conflict exists among scholars as to its survival to the seventh century and its final passing, together with the very civilization whose living muniments it had preserved and guarded, through good and ill, for nigh a thousand years2." [restatement (paraphrasis)]. ["371"].

PAGE 539

'Now let us leave the amusing features of the controversy aside—such as the proportion of vellum manuscripts to papyrus rolls or documents and whether after deducting the vellum MSS. (because Dr. Butler says: "Now vellum is a material which will not burn as fuel, and all the Caliph's orders could not make it burn: what then became of all these manuscripts?", p. 405) from the mass, there was not enough material to heat the four thousand baths, which one of our Latin scholars tells us the Muslims required at a temperature of at least sixty degrees, and which another has curiously calculated with arithmetical ingenuity that it would require fourteen million1, or even seventy-two million volumes to properly heat the baths of the devoted city.' [372]. [seemingly, they could have heated some baths (dinners, etc.)].

'This was the final scene of destruction (A.D. 646), and Alexandria, under the shadow of Islam, joins her sister Hellenic cities of forlorn Asia, sinking below the historical horizon, as the philosophic travelers, Muslim and Christian, beheld the wreck of her former glory, the seat of ancient wisdom and the treasure-house of the classic beauty and thought of ancient Hellas. Upon the coming of the Arabs, the city entered upon its period of final decay and degradation2. For us, that should be the last phase of our rather long and perhaps tedious investigation of the "destructions" of Alexandria's cultural institutions, the Museum and particularly its far-famed Library.' [410].

"There is every reason to believe, as we have fully shown in the greater part of this chapter, that there were books, the remains of the Alexandrian Library in Alexandria at the time of the [Muslim] conquest, and that there is good and sufficient historical Muslim and Christian authority that they were burned by 'Amr ["'Amr ibn al-As" (d. 664)] by order of Omar.

This is the end of our theme. The magnificent Hellenic queen-city of Antiquity, wrought in marble, seat of the arts and sciences, guardian of the accumulated culture and learning of the ancient world, with all the fabulous glories of her Museum and Library, now under the blight of Islam, has finally ceased to be1.

Thus we reach the denouement, and the curtain falls on the tragic history of man's greatest original creative effort in preserving for time the precious records of mystery, beauty and wisdom of the divine-human mind.

    The white stone roof of the Muses' Hall
    Has fallen and is no more;
    Here, on frail papyrus writ, was all that man
    Had dreamed and thought and from the heavens caught
    Of wisdom's truth and beauty's fleeting glory.

      Now, the sacred and awful treasures of the mind
      Are scattered by the winds of yore." [411-412].

PAGE 540

Supplement IV

from: Cicero The Nature of the Gods, Translated with Introduction and Explanatory Notes by P.G. Walsh, Oxford, 1997.

["Explanatory Notes"] ["Book I"]

"1    Brutus: this is the Marcus Iunius Brutus [85 - 42 B.C.E.] who planned the assassination of Julius Caesar [100 or 102 - 44 B.C.E. ("Roman dictator (from 49)"] in March 44. He was a considerable intellectual; as a former pupil of Antiochus, he claimed allegiance, like Cicero [106 - 43 B.C.E.] himself, to the Academic school. Cicero's close friendship with him is attested by their voluminous correspondence, only a fraction of which has survived, and by Cicero's dedication to him of De finibus and Tusculans." ["147"].

[See: Greek and Roman Religion, 111-112 (514)].

PAGE 541

Supplement V

from: Celsus On the True Doctrine, A Discourse Against the Christians [c. 178], Translated with a General Introduction by R. Joseph Hoffmann, Oxford, 1987.

"...Celsus [c. 178] acts the rationalist, pointing up inconsistencies, absurdities, and analogues with the delight of a prosecuting attorney: Who witnessed the apotheosis of Jesus in the Jordan? Why should it be thought that the Old Testament prophecies speak of Jesus only, when they could as easily be applied to a thousand others?" [36].

'Like the adherents of other secret associations, the Christians take advantage of the gullible and the uneducated in order to propagate their religion, neither giving nor demanding any reasons for their beliefs. Celsus states that his purpose in refuting them is to show them the true character of their religion and the sources of their opinions. This he proceeds to do, first of all, by pointing up the unoriginality of Christian doctrine in great detail, arguing that the immediate source of the Christian religion, Judaism, is one historia among many....

He shows no great love of Judaism (which he finds a plagiarizing religion), and even less for the strict monotheism of Moses, whom he considers a sorcerer. "It matters not a bit," he argues, "what one calls the supreme godor whether one uses Greek names or Indian names or the names formerly used by the Egyptians."' [35].

'Celsus shows remarkable insight into the apologetic character of the gospel writings. Unlike modern readers who know the gospels chiefly as the canonical [fourth century (see #22, 424-425)] documents of the Christian church, CELSUS KNEW THEM [GOSPELS] AS MISSIONARY LITERATUREAS PROPAGANDA and proclamation—rather than as sacred biography. In this respect Celsus [c. 178] was the first of the New Testament demythologizers, a title he shares in the history of the church with Porphyry [c. 232 - c. 303], Voltaire [1694 - 1778], Tom Paine [1737 -1809], D.F. Strauss [1808 - 1874], Arthur Drews [1865 - 1935], and Rudolf Bultmann [1884 - 1976].

"Let us not omit this: The writings of the disciples contain only those facts about Jesus that put a flattering face on the events of his life." And again, "Your fables have not been well enough constructed to conceal this MONSTROUS FICTION: I have heard that some of your interpreters...are on the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the original writings three, four, and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism."' [37].

PAGE 542

'In Celsus' view, Jesus could only have been a god if his triumph over death had been transacted at the time of the crucifixion. The very fact that the resurrection—unlike the crucifixion—was an event not witnessed by the Jews casts doubt on the story propagated by the Christians, who might be expected to say that their master performed such a feat. More to the point, the Christians seem unaware that "multitudes have invented similar tales to lead simpleminded hearers astray," Zamolxis, Pythagoras, ORPHEUS, and Herakles being only the most famous examples. Here it would seem Celsus' "epicurean" tendencies stand out in boldest relief: for while he demands proof, in the form of witnesses, for the CHRISTIAN STORY, his argument centers on the "question of resurrection from the body as a possibility given to mortals." His challenge is based on the belief that the CHRISTIAN ACCOUNT, like all other such accounts, is PURELY LEGENDARY [FICTION!].' [37-38].

PAGE 543

See (Fiction): #1-24 passim

See (Laughter): #3, 80-81

See (Lucian): #3, 81; #4, 106

See (Bury): #3, 88; #9, 224; #18, 374, 378

See (Sun): #13, 263-328 passim; #15, 336-337; #20, 402-405

See (Constantine):#22, 440-457

See (Greek influence):#22, 464-466

See (Cicero):#23, 467-469, 479

See (Robert Taylor):#23, 477-481

PAGE 544

Additional References

British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Ian Shaw and Paul Nicholson, 1995.

[caution (for example): entry, "libraries": the first paragraph is problematic].

Cambridge Biographical Dictionary, Cambridge, 1990.

Crimes of Perception, an Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics, Leonard George, Paragon, 1995. [insufficiently referenced] [extensive Bibliography].

Early Christian Art, Pierre Du Bourguet, 1971.

[See: 117: "CHRIST HELIOS [excellent photo reproduction]. Mosaic. Beginning of Third Century [See: Religions of the Roman Empire (511)), "232": "early fourth-century", 237: "middle of the third century"]." "St. Peter's in the Vatican."].

[See (the same mosaic): #13, 266 ("earliest known Christian mosaic"); The Religions of the Roman Empire, "232", 237 (511--512)].

Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 2 Volumes, Garland, 1997.

[See: Eucharist; etc.] [numerous Bibliographies].

Encyclopedia of Gods, Over 2,500 Deities of the World, Michael Jordan, 1992.

Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics, Chas S. Clifton, ABC-CLIO, 1992.

[insufficiently referenced] [engaging biography of Julian (disappointingly, not referenced)] [See end papers: chart: "Heresies and Heretics"; "World Events"].

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Paul Edwards, ed., 1967.

Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, Lesley Adkins, Roy A. Adkins, Facts on File, 1994.

New Documents Illustrating Christianity, The Ancient History Documentary Research Centre, Macquarie University [New South Wales, Australia], 1981 (Vol. 1), 1982 (Vol. 2), 1983 (Vol. 3), 1987 (Vol. 4), 1989 (Vol. 5), 1992 (Vol. 6).

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 1997. [also: earlier editions].

The Oxford English Dictionary.

The Vanished Library, Luciano Canfora, Translated by Martin Ryle, Hutchinson Radius, 1989 (1987) (1987 Italy).

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