However, as noted above, the importation of new practices and beliefs could potentially create friction with the Roman need to uphold and preserve the rites handed down to them by their ancestors. Near the conclusion of the Second Punic War (in 205 B.C.E.), the Anatolian goddess Cybele, the Magna Mater, was vowed a temple in Rome. She was introduced into Rome in the form of a black stone the following year, brought from her cult center at Pergamon.17 By 194 B.C.E., a temple had been built on the Palatine hill and games instituted in her honor. However, the apparent openness to foreign cults and practices that had so characterized the third century seems to have come to an end by the late 200s. Shortly after the Great Mother was brought to Rome, certain regulations were established aimed at limiting participation by Romans in this cult and segregating its Phrygian priests from the general population.18 The reason for this change  is unclear, but may have had something to do with the “foreignness” of the cult as it was practiced in Asia Minor. There, the goddess was served by self-castrated priests; its rites were accompanied by “barbarous” music, dancing, and chanting, which induced ecstatic states in participants. When these made their appearance at Rome, they were likely seen as out of step with Roman practices and thus circumscribed by the authorities, but not excluded. As these examples indicate, the Romans were open to the possibility of importing religious cults and practices from their neighbors, especially when political or social crises indicated that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to ensure the survival and prosperity of Rome.

In these circumstances, as in any, the Senate and magistrates of the Roman government sought to maintain control over such innovations and to manage them within the existing framework of religious practices. “[A]t least until the middle Republic, there is no sign in Rome of any specifically religious groups: groups, that is, of men or women who had decided to join together principally on grounds of religious choice.”19 When expressly religious groups began to develop in this period, however, the tension between tradition and innovation could come to a flashpoint of violence. This is highlighted in the accounts of the suppression of foreign religious beliefs, cults, and ritual specialists found in writers of the Republic and early Empire, some of which will be discussed below.

213 B.C.E.: The First Act of Roman Religious Censorship Within the history of Rome composed by Livy is evidence that the Senate and magistrates of the Republic did punish groups or individuals for importing foreign beliefs and practices to the city on several occasions, although the details of these events are often vague. In some instances, state-sponsored repression entailed the expulsion or execution of foreign ritual technicians and the confiscation, destruction, and even burning of their texts. The earliest known incident occurred in 213 B.C.E., when, as Livy states, “sacrificial priests and prophets captivated the imaginations of the people” and many persons abandoned traditional religious practices and turned instead to offering sacrifices and prayers according to foreign rites.20 These events occurred during the difficult days of the Second Punic War (218–201 B.C.E.), when Hannibal’s army had invaded the Italian peninsula and handed the Romans several serious military setbacks.21 As the Carthaginians raged throughout the countryside with veritable impunity, numerous refugees were forced into the city of Rome.22 As Livy explains, the longer the war dragged on under such difficulties, the more people turned to foreign practices, even in public.23 At first, the authorities turned a blind eye to these activities, but following  official complaints the aediles and tresviri nocturni were ordered to disperse these gatherings. When they attempted to expel participants from the forum, they were driven off by the threat of violence.24 The Senate charged the praetor urbanus, Marcus Aemilius, with the task of “freeing the people of such superstitions” and he decreed in the assembly that all persons in possession of books containing prophecies, forms of prayers, or written formulae for the performance of rituals must surrender them to him by an appointed date.25 A second injunction prohibited anyone from performing sacrifices in a public or sacred place according to any new or foreign ritual.

In this incident, the war seems to have caused such serious economic and social disruption for the Romans and their allies that many turned to offering rites and prayers according to foreign customs. These were presumably administered by foreign ritual specialists, sacrificuli ac vates, who kept their rites in books. As the decrees handed down by the praetor indicate, it was these practitioners who the Roman authorities sought to suppress. Who were they and what sorts of rites and books did they make use of that the government took such action? Sacrificial priests and prophets appear to have been a type known at Rome by the middle Republic, frequently seen in the forum or in the vicinity of the circus, where they offered to conduct purification rites, forms of divination, and private initiations into the mysteries. The famous suppression of the Bacchanalia, which occurred in 186 B.C.E. and following, provides some additional details by way of comparison. Although bookburning does not seem to have occurred in the actions taken against the mystery cult devoted to Dionysos/Bacchus, there are notable similarities.26 Livy describes the priests of the Bacchanalia with exactly the same terms as he used to describe the practitioners whose books were confiscated in 213—sacrificuli et vates.

A sacrificial priest and prophet of unknown Greek origin was said to have introduced this mystery cult into Rome from neighboring Etruria; another, a Campanian priestess named Annia Paculla, transformed the entire ceremony.27 The tremendous influence that the leaders of these Bacchic cells wielded within their religious communities also gravely concerned Roman officials.28 The cell leaders, as seen in Livy’s account, were itinerant religious specialists, whose expertise in conducting rituals of initiation and other rites, and quite probably in divination and other occult activities, endowed them with the personal authority to alter the rites to suit their own purposes and to demand intense loyalty from their followers.29 It was even reported that they had induced their followers to commit many heinous crimes.30 For these reasons, the Senate sanctioned measures that went far beyond what had occurred twenty-seven years earlier, calling for an extraordinary inquiry into this cult and the arrest of its priests and others suspected of participating in its alleged criminal activities. The investigation caused a panic throughout the city and the rest of Italy.31 In all, it was reported that more than seven thousand people had taken part in what the Roman government came to call a coniuratio, or conspiracy.32 An even greater number were said to have been executed than were imprisoned for their participation.33 All over Italy, many centers of Bacchic worship were destroyed and rites at other shrines strictly curtailed. Other, more localized suppressions followed two years later and again in 181 B.C.E.34


Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
The Degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate
School of The Ohio State University
Daniel Christopher Sarefield, M.A.


17 Liv. 29.10.4–11.8, 14.5. 18 Dionysios of Halikarnassos, Roman Antiquities 2.19.4–5.

18 Dionysios of Halikarnassos, Roman Antiquities 2.19.4–5.

19 Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome, Volume 1: A History, 42.

20 Liv. 25.1.8: Sacrificuli ac vates ceperant hominum mentes. For Livy’s description of this incident, see Liv. 25.1.6–12. 21 Notably, Hannibal crushed the Romans at Trebbia (218), Lake Trasimene (217), and Cannae (216) at the beginning of the war, leading some forty percent of Rome’s allies to defect. 22 Liv. 25.1.8. 23 Liv. 25.1.6.

24 See Rachel Feig Vishnia, State, Society and Popular Leaders in Mid-Republican Rome 241–167 BC (New York: Routledge, 1996), 109–10.

25 Liv. 25.1.11–12: Ubi potentius iam esse id malum apparuit quam ut minores per magistratus sedaretur, M. Aemilio praetori urbano negotium ab senatu datum est ut eis religionibus populum liberaret. Is et in contione senatus consultum recitavit et edixit ut quicumque libros vaticinos precationesve aut artem sacrificandi conscriptam haberet, eos libros omnis litterasque ad se ante kal. Apriles deferret, neu quis in publico sacrove loco novo aut externo ritu sacrificaret.

26 On mystery cults, see below, pp. 61–3.

27 Liv. 39.8.3–4: Graecus ignobilis in Etruriam primum venit . . . sacrificulus et vates. Annia Paculla: Liv. 39.13.8–14. According to Livy’s account, the priestess allowed men to be initiated for the first time, transferred the rites from day to night, and increased their frequency from three days a year to five days every month.

28 This is evident from the special attention given to dismantling the organizational structure of the Bacchic cells (their leadership, their membership and oaths of loyalty, their property and methods of funding) on the inscription that records the substance of the Senate’s decree that was discovered at Tirolo in Calabria. See ILS 18 = ILLRP 511 = CIL I² 581.

29 On the composition of Bacchic cells and their leaders in the Hellenistic period, see Walter Burkert, “Bacchic Teletai in the Hellenistic Age,” in Masks of Dionysus, eds. Thomas H. Carpenter and Christopher A. Faroane. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993), 259–75.

30 Liv. 39.13.11.

31 Liv. 39.17.4.

32 Liv. 39.17.6; and by association, 39.41.6.

33 Liv. 39.18.5: Plures necati quam in vincula coniecta sunt.

34 Liv. 39.41.6–7; 40.19.9–11.

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A)Ὥσπερ γὰρ τοῖς μαχομένοις καὶ ὁπλιτεύουσιν οὐκ εὐψυχίας δεῖ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τάξεως ἑρμηνευούσης τοὺς καιροὺς τῆς μάχης, οὕτω καὶ τοῖς φιλοσοφοῦσιν ἐπιμελητέα τῶν καιρῶν, ἐν οἷς ἀποθανοῦνται, ὡς μὴ ἄτακτοι, μηδὲ θανατῶντες, ξὺν ἀρίστῃ δ’ αἱρέσει ἐς αὐτοὺς φέροιντο.

Όπως οι μαχόμενοι Πολίτες που υπηρετούν ως Οπλίτες δεν αρκεί να διαθέτουν ευψυχία μόνον, αλλά πρέπει και να έχουν και κάποια τάξη ώστε να ερμηνεύουν τους κατάλληλους καιρούς για μάχη, έτσι και οι Φιλόσοφοι πρέπει να φροντίζουν για την ώρα τού θανάτου τους, ώστε να μην πεθάνουν κακήν κακώς, ούτε σε κατάσταση ταραχής, αλλά ν’ αντιμετωπίζουν τους εχθρούς με βάση την δική τους άριστη επιλογή!

B)Θεοὶ μὲν γὰρ μελλόντων, ἄνθρωποι δὲ γιγνομένων, σοφοὶ δὲ προσιόντων αἰσθάνονται.
Οι Θεοί βεβαίως γνωρίζουν τα μελλούμενα, οι άνθρωποι τα γεγονότα, και οι σοφοί αυτά που πλησιάζουν.

C)Φιλοσοφία δὲ πῶς ἀνακτητέα τῷ γε ἀτιμάσαντι αὐτὴν καὶ ῥίψαντι;

Πώς είναι δυνατόν να επανακτήσει την Φιλοσοφία αυτός που την ατίμασε και την απέρριψε;

D)Θάνατος ουδείς ουδενός ή μόνον εμφάσει, καθάπερ ουδέ γένεσις ουδενός ή μόνον εμφάσει. Το μεν γαρ εξ ουσίας τραπέν εις φύσιν έδοξε γένεσις, το δε εκ φύσεως εις ουσίαν κατά ταυτά θάνατος ούτε γιγνομένου κατ΄αλήθειάν τινος, ούτε φθειρομένου ποτέ, μόνον δε εμφανούς όντος αοράτου τε ύστερον του μεν διά παχύτητα της ύλης, του δε διά λεπτότητα της ουσίας, ούσης μεν αιεί της αυτής, κινήσει δε διαφερούσης και στάσει. Τούτο γαρ που το ίδιον ανάγκηι της μεταβολής ουκ έξωθεν γενομένης ποθέν, αλλά του μεν όλου μεταβάλλοντος εις τα μέρη, των μερών δε εις το όλον τρεπομένων ενότητι του παντός»
«Θάνατος δεν υπάρχει για κανέναν, παρά μόνο φαινομενικά, ούτε γένεση υπάρχει για κανέναν, παρά μόνο φαινομενικά. Η τροπή της ουσίας σε φύση θεωρείται γένεση, ενώ η τροπή της φύσεως σε ουσία κατά τα αυτά θεωρείται θάνατος. Ούτε γεννιέται αληθινά κάτι ούτε φθείρεται ποτέ, μόνο τη μια γίνεται φανερό και ύστερα γίνεται αόρατο· και το μεν πρώτο συμβαίνει λόγω παχύτητος της ύλης, το δε δεύτερο λόγω λεπτότητος της ουσίας, η οποία είναι πάντα ίδια και απλώς διαφέρει κατά την κίνηση και την στάση. Διότι αυτό είναι αναγκαστικά το ίδιον της μεταβολής, που δεν γίνεται από κάπου έξω, αλλά το μεν όλον μεταβάλλεται στα μέρη, τα δε μέρη στο όλον λόγω της ενότητος του παντός»

Επιστολή νη΄ -Στον Βαλέριο. [Περί ζωής και θανάτου]


E)-“Δικάσομαι” ἔφη “πρὸς τίνα;”

-“Πρός γε τὸν σεαυτοῦ” εἶπε “κατήγορον, δικάσει δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς.”

-“ Ἐμοὶ δὲ” ἔφη “καὶ τῷ βασιλεῖ τίς ὁ δικάσων; Δείξω γὰρ αὐτὸν φιλοσοφίαν ἀδικοῦντα.”

-“Καὶ τίς” εἶπε “βασιλεῖ φιλοσοφίας λόγος, κἂν ἀδικῶν ταύτην τύχῃ;”

-“ Ἀλλὰ φιλοσοφίᾳ πολὺς” ἔφη “βασιλέως, ἵν’ ἐπιτηδείως ἄρχῃ.”

-«Ενώπιον ποίου θα απολογηθώ;» (είπε ο Απολλώνιος)

-«Ενώπιον του κατηγόρου σου», είπε εκείνος, «και θα σε δικάσει ο βασιλιάς».

-«Και ανά­μεσα σε μένα και τον βασιλιά ποιός θα διεξαγάγει την δίκη;» ρώτησε. «Διότι θα αποδείξω ότι είναι ένοχος αδικίας εις βάρος της Φιλοσοφίας».

-«Και τι σχέση έχει η Φιλοσοφία με τον βασιλιά, ακόμα κι αν τυχόν την αδικεί;» είπε εκείνος.

-«Έχει ο βασιλιάς με την Φιλοσοφία», είπε ο Απολλώνιος, «για να είναι σε θέση να ασκεί ορθά την εξουσία»!

(Φιλόστρατος – Τὰ ἐς τὸν Τυανέα Ἀπολλώνιον, Βιβλίον 8ον. Σύγχρονη ἀπόδοση: Ἰαλυσσός.)

CT)Μειράκιον ὢν ἐζήτησα, νῦν δὲ οὐ χρὴ ζητεῖν, ἀλλὰ διδάσκειν ἃ εὕρηκα.

Αναζήτησα όταν ήμουν νεαρός∙ τώρα δεν πρέπει πια ν’ αναζητώ, αλλά να διδάσκω όσα βρήκα.

Z)Οὐκ ἐπιλογιζομένη ἡ ψυχὴ τὸ τοῦ σώματος αὔταρκες οὐ δύναται ἑαυτὴν αὐτάρκη ποιῆσαι.

Η ψυχὴ που δεν φροντίζει να μάθει στο σώμα την αυτάρκεια, δεν μπορεί ούτε η ίδια να γίνει αυτάρκης!

H)(α)[3.15] ὁποῖοι μὲν δὴ καὶ οἱ ἄνδρες καὶ ὅπως οἰκοῦντες τὸν ὄχθον, αὐτὸς ὁ ἀνὴρ δίεισιν· ἐν μιᾷ γὰρ τῶν πρὸς Αἰγυπτίους ὁμιλιῶν «εἶδον» φησὶν «Ἰνδοὺς Βραχμᾶνας οἰκοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ οὐκ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀτειχίστως τετειχισμένους, καὶ οὐδὲν κεκτημένους ἢ τὰ πάντων» ταυτὶ δὲ ἐκεῖνος μὲν σοφώτερον ἔγραψεν, ὁ δέ γε Δάμις φησὶ χαμευνίᾳ μὲν αὐτοὺς χρῆσθαι, τὴν γῆν δὲ ὑποστρωννύναι πόας, ἃς ἂν αὐτοὶ αἱρῶνται, καὶ μετεωροποροῦντας δὴ ἰδεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἐς πήχεις δύο, οὐ θαυματοποιίας ἕνεκα, τὸ γὰρ φιλότιμον τοῦτο παραιτεῖσθαι τοὺς ἄνδρας, ἀλλ᾽ ὁπόσα τῷ Ἡλίῳ ξυναποβαίνοντες τῆς γῆς δρῶσιν, ὡς πρόσφορα τῷ θεῷ πράττοντας. τό τοι πῦρ, ὃ ἀπὸ τῆς ἀκτῖνος ἐπισπῶνται καίτοι σωματοειδὲς ὂν οὔτε ἐπὶ βωμοῦ καίειν αὐτοὺς οὔτε ἐν ἰπνοῖς φυλάττειν, ἀλλ᾽ ὥσπερ τὰς αὐγάς, αἳ ἐξ ἡλίου τε ἀνακλῶνται καὶ ὕδατος, οὕτω μετέωρόν τε ὁρᾶσθαι αὐτὸ καὶ σαλεῦον ἐν τῷ αἰθέρι. τὸν μὲν οὖν δὴ Ἥλιον ὑπὲρ τῶν ὡρῶν, ἃς ἐπιτροπεύει αὐτός, ἵν᾽ ἐς καιρὸν τῇ γῇ ἴωσι καὶ ἡ Ἰνδικὴ εὖ πράττῃ, νύκτωρ δὲ λιπαροῦσι τὴν ἀκτῖνα μὴ ἄχθεσθαι τῇ νυκτί, μένειν δέ, ὡς ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἤχθη. τοιοῦτον μὲν δὴ τοῦ Ἀπολλωνίου τὸ «ἐν τῇ γῇ τε εἶναι τοὺς Βραχμᾶνας καὶ οὐκ ἐν τῇ γῇ». τὸ δὲ «ἀτειχίστως τετειχισμένους» δηλοῖ τὸν ἀέρα, ὑφ᾽ ᾧ ζῶσιν, ὑπαίθριοι γὰρ δοκοῦντες αὐλίζεσθαι σκιάν τε ὑπεραίρουσιν αὑτῶν καὶ ὕοντος οὐ ψεκάζονται καὶ ὑπὸ τῷ ἡλίῳ εἰσίν, ἐπειδὰν αὐτοὶ βούλωνται. τὸ δὲ «μηδὲν κεκτημένους τὰ πάντων ἔχειν» ὧδε ὁ Δάμις ἐξηγεῖται· πηγαί, ὁπόσαι τοῖς βάκχοις παρὰ τῆς γῆς ἀναθρώσκουσιν, ἐπειδὰν ὁ Διόνυσος αὐτούς τε καὶ τὴν γῆν σείσῃ, φοιτῶσι καὶ τοῖς Ἰνδοῖς τούτοις ἑστιωμένοις τε καὶ ἑστιῶσιν· εἰκότως οὖν ὁ Ἀπολλώνιος τοὺς μηδὲν μὲν ἐκ παρασκευῆς, αὐτοσχεδίως δέ, ἃ βούλονται, ποριζομένους, ἔχειν φησίν, ἃ μὴ ἔχουσιν. κομᾶν δὲ ἐπιτηδεύουσιν, ὥσπερ Λακεδαιμόνιοι πάλαι καὶ Θούριοι Ταραντῖνοί τε καὶ Μήλιοι καὶ ὁπόσοις τὰ Λακωνικὰ ἦν ἐν λόγῳ, μίτραν τε ἀναδοῦνται λευκήν, καὶ γυμνὸν αὐτοῖς βάδισμα καὶ τὴν ἐσθῆτα ἐσχηματίζοντο παραπλησίως ταῖς ἐξωμίσιν. ἡ δὲ ὕλη τῆς ἐσθῆτος ἔριον αὐτοφυὲς ἡ γῆ φύει, λευκὸν μὲν ὥσπερ τὸ Παμφύλων, μαλακώτερον δὲ τίκτει, ἡ δὲ πιμελὴ οἷα ἔλαιον ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ λείβεται. τοῦτο ἱερὰν ἐσθῆτα ποιοῦνται καὶ εἴ τις ἕτερος παρὰ τοὺς Ἰνδοὺς τούτους ἀνασπῴη αὐτό, οὐ μεθίεται ἡ γῆ τοῦ ἐρίου. τὴν δὲ ἰσχὺν τοῦ δακτυλίου καὶ τῆς ῥάβδου, ἃ φορεῖν αὐτοὺς ἄμφω, δύνασθαι μὲν πάντα, δύω δὲ ἀρρήτω τετιμῆσθαι.

(α) Ο Απολλώνιος επισκέπτεται τους Ινδούς σοφούς

[3,15] Πώς ακριβώς ήταν οι άνδρες αυτοί και πώς κατοικούσαν στο λόφο1 τα διηγείται ο ίδιος ο Απολλώνιος. «Είδα», λέει σε μια από τις ομιλίες του προς τους Αιγύπτιους, «τους Ινδούς Βραχμάνες να κατοικούν πάνω στη γη, χωρίς να είναι πάνω της, να είναι περιτειχισμένοι χωρίς να έχουν τείχη, και, χωρίς να έχουν τίποτα, να έχουν τα πάντα.». Αυτά έγραψε έχοντας κατά νου κάτι σαφώς βαθύτερο. Ο Δάμις2 ωστόσο λέει ότι κοιμούνται κατάχαμα και ότι στρώνουν στο χώμα χορτάρια που μαζεύουν οι ίδιοι· τους είδε μάλιστα να περπατούν στον αέρα, δύο πήχεις πάνω από τη γη,3 όχι για να κάνουν επίδειξη θαυμάτων -τέτοιες φιλοδοξίες τις περιφρονούν-, αλλά επειδή θεωρούν όλα όσα κάνουν εγκαταλείποντας τη γη και προχωρώντας μαζί με τον ήλιο πρέπουσες εκδηλώσεις σεβασμού προς τον θεό. Και όντως τη φωτιά που αποσπούν από τις ακτίνες του ήλιου, αν και είναι υλική, ούτε σε βωμό την καίνε ούτε τη φυλάνε σε φούρνους, αλλά, όπως οι ακτίνες ανακλώνται από τον ήλιο και το νερό, έτσι και αυτή τη φωτιά την αντιλαμβάνονται να μετεωρίζεται και να κινείται στον αιθέρα. Παρακαλούν μάλιστα τον ήλιο, που έχει την εποπτεία των εποχών, να έρθουν εκείνες την ώρα που πρέπει στη γη και να ευημερεί η Ινδική. Τη νύχτα παρακαλούν την ακτίνα του φωτός να μην θυμώνει με το σκοτάδι, μα να μένει μαζί τους όπως την έφεραν. Αυτό λοιπόν φαίνεται να σημαίνουν τα λόγια του Απολλώνιου ότι «οι Βραχμάνες βρίσκονται πάνω στη γη και όχι στη γη». Και η φράση «είναι περιτειχισμένοι χωρίς να έχουν τείχη» δηλώνει τον αέρα κάτω από τον οποίο ζουν. Διότι, αν και δίνουν την εντύπωση ότι διαμένουν στο ύπαιθρο, σηκώνουν μια σκιά από πάνω τους και έτσι δεν βρέχονται, όταν βρέχει, και έχουν ήλιο, όποτε θέλουν. Τη φράση πάλι «ενώ δεν έχουν τίποτα, έχουν τα πάντα» ο Δάμις την ερμηνεύει ως εξής: Όσες πηγές αναβλύζουν για τους βακχεύοντες από τη γη, κάθε φορά που ο Διόνυσος θα σείσει τους ίδιους και τη γη, τόσες παρουσιάζονται και στους Ινδούς, όταν φιλοξενούν ή φιλοξενούνται. Εύλογα λοιπόν ισχυρίζεται ο Απολλώνιος ότι αυτοί που έτσι, χωρίς προετοιμασία, εξασφαλίζουν ό,τι θέλουν, έχουν αυτά που δεν έχουν. Φροντίζουν να αφήνουν μακριά μαλλιά, όπως τον παλιό καιρό οι Λακεδαιμόνιοι, οι Θούριοι, οι Ταραντίνοι, οι Μήλιοι και όσοι ασπάζονταν τις λακωνικές συνήθειες. Φορούν λευκή ταινία στο κεφάλι, περπατούν ξυπόλυτοι και φορούν το ένδυμά τους όπως περίπου τις εξωμίδες.4 Το υλικό από το οποίο κατασκευάζεται το ένδυμα είναι φυσικό μαλλί που το παράγει η γη, λευκό όπως των Παμφύλων, αλλά πιο απαλό· από το μαλλί στάζει το λίπος που είναι όμοιο με λάδι ελιάς. Από αυτό φτιάχνουν το ιερό τους ένδυμα.5 Και αν κάποιος άλλος προσπαθήσει να αποσπάσει το μαλλί, εκτός από τους Ινδούς αυτούς, η γη δεν το αφήνει. Το δαχτυλίδι και η ράβδος, που και τα δύο τα φέρουν όλοι τους, έχουν τη δύναμη να κάνουν τα πάντα, και τα θεωρούν άρρητα.


TH)(β)[5.22] ἐτύγχανέ τι καὶ μειράκιον νεόπλουτόν τε καὶ ἀπαίδευτον οἰκοδομούμενον οἰκίαν τινὰ ἐν τῇ Ῥόδῳ καὶ ξυμφέρον ἐς αὐτὴν γραφάς τε ποικίλας καὶ λίθους ἐξ ἁπάντων ἐθνῶν. ἤρετο οὖν αὐτό, ὁπόσα χρήματα εἴη ἐς διδασκάλους τε καὶ παιδείαν ἀνηλωκός· ὁ δὲ «οὐδὲ δραχμήν» εἶπεν.
«ἐς δὲ τὴν οἰκίαν πόσα;» «δώδεκα» ἔφη «τάλαντα, προσαναλώσαιμι δ᾽ ἂν καὶ ἕτερα τοσαῦτα». «τί δ᾽» εἶπεν «ἡ οἰκία βούλεταί σοι;» «δίαιτα» ἔφη «λαμπρὰ ἔσται τῷ σώματι, καὶ γὰρ δρόμοι ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ἄλση καὶ ὀλίγα ἐς ἀγορὰν βαδιοῦμαι καὶ προσεροῦσί με οἱ ἐσιόντες ἥδιον, ὥσπερ ἐς ἱερὸν φοιτῶντες.»
«ζηλωτότεροι δὲ» εἶπεν «οἱ ἄνθρωποι πότερον δι᾽ αὐτούς εἰσιν ἢ διὰ τὰ περὶ αὐτοὺς ὄντα;» «διὰ τὸν πλοῦτον», εἶπε, «τὰ γὰρ χρήματα πλεῖστον ἰσχύει». «χρημάτων δ᾽», ἔφη «ὦ μειράκιον, ἀμείνων φύλαξ πότερον ὁ πεπαιδευμένος ἔσται ἢ ὁ ἀπαίδευτος;» ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐσιώπησε, «δοκεῖς μοι», εἶπε «μειράκιον, οὐ σὺ τὴν οἰκίαν, ἀλλὰ σὲ ἡ οἰκία κεκτῆσθαι. ἐγὼ δὲ ἐς ἱερὸν παρελθὼν πολλῷ ἂν ἥδιον ἐν αὐτῷ μικρῷ ὄντι ἄγαλμα ἐλέφαντός τε καὶ χρυσοῦ ἴδοιμι ἢ ἐν μεγάλῳ κεραμεοῦν.»
  • Σταύρος Τσιτσιρίδης
Τὸ “κεραμεοῦν” καὶ “φαῦλον” 6

[5,22] Συνέβη επίσης τότε ένας νεόπλουτος και απαίδευτος νεαρός να χτίζει σπίτι στη Ρόδο και να συγκεντρώνει για το σκοπό αυτό πολύχρωμους ζωγραφικούς πίνακες και λίθους από όλες τις χώρες. Τον ρώτησε λοιπόν ο Απολλώνιος πόσα χρήματα είχε ξοδέψει για δασκάλους και μόρφωση. «Ούτε δραχμή», απάντησε. «Και για το σπίτι πόσα;» «Δώδεκα τάλαντα», είπε, «και, αν χρειαστεί, θα ξοδέψω άλλα τόσα». «Και σε τι θα σου είναι χρήσιμο το σπίτι;», ρώτησε. «Θα είναι εξαιρετικό μέρος για τη σωματική μου άσκηση, γιατί έχει μέσα και περιστύλια για περίπατο και άλση, έτσι που λίγες φορές θα χρειάζεται να πηγαίνω στην αγορά· οι άνθρωποι πάλι που θα έρχονται μέσα θα μου μιλούν με ακόμη μεγαλύτερη ευχαρίστηση, σαν να επισκέπτονται ένα ιερό.» «Οι άνθρωποι», ρώτησε ο Απολλώνιος, «εκτιμώνται πιο πολύ γι᾽ αυτό που είναι οι ίδιοι ή για τα υπάρχοντά τους;» «Για τα πλούτη τους», απάντησε, «γιατί αυτά έχουν τη μεγαλύτερη δύναμη». «Και για τα υπάρχοντα, νεαρέ, ποιος είναι» ρώτησε ο Απολλώνιος, «πιο ικανός φύλακας, ο πεπαιδευμένος ή ο απαίδευτος;» Επειδή εκείνος δεν απάντησε, «Μου δίνεις», είπε, «την εντύπωση, νεαρέ, πως δεν ανήκει το σπίτι σε εσένα, αλλά εσύ στο σπίτι. Όσο για μένα, αν πήγαινα σε ένα ιερό, με πολύ μεγαλύτερη ευχαρίστηση θα έβλεπα σε ένα, έστω και μικρό ιερό άγαλμα χρυσελεφάντινο παρά σε μεγάλο άγαλμα πήλινο και ευτελές».

(μετάφραση Σταύρος Τσιτσιρίδης)

1 Οι Βραχμάνες κατοικούσαν σ᾽ ένα ύψωμα που περιβαλλόταν από σύννεφα.

2 Ο Φιλόστρατος εξαρτάται για το συγκεκριμένο επεισόδιο από την υποτιθέμενη βασική πηγή του, τον Δάμη.

3 Σύμφωνα με κάποιον μελετητή εδώ παριστάνεται με κυριολεκτικούς όρους ένα χαρακτηριστικό πνευματικής φύσεως. Ο μετεωρισμός των σωμάτων δηλαδή ενδέχεται να εξεικονίζει την “διανοητική πτήση”.

4 Η εξωμίδα ήταν ανδρικό ένδυμα που άφηνε γυμνό τον ένα βραχίονα και ώμο.

5 Ίσως πρόκειται για τον αμίαντο (= άφλεκτο ορυκτό με ινώδη μορφή).

6 Φράση του Κ. Π. Καβάφη από το ποίημα «Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεὺς ἐν Ῥόδῳ», στο οποίο ο ποιητής παραθέτει αυτούσιο το τελευταίο τμήμα από το ανθολογούμενο κείμενο του Φιλοστράτου.

I)Ἐμοὶ πολιτείας μὲν οὐδεμιᾶς μέλει, ζῶ γὰρ ὑπὸ τοῖς θεοῖς, τὴν δὲ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀγέλην οὐκ ἀξιῶ φθείρεσθαι χήτει βουκόλου δικαίου τε καὶ σώφρονος.

Όσο για μένα, δεν ενδιαφέρομαι για κανένα είδος πολιτεύματος, διότι ζω υπό την σκέπη των Θεών, αλλά δεν θεωρώ σωστό να φθείρεται η ανθρώπινη αγέλη ελλείψει δικαίου και σώφρονος βουκόλου.

IA)Ἐν τῷ τοῦ Ἡλίου κύκλῳ πολλὰ δηλούμενα, ὁπότε ἀνίσχει.

Στον κύκλο τού Ηλίου πολλά φανερώνονται, κάθε φορά που αυτός ανατέλλει.

πέμπε με εφ’ όσον της γης
εμοί τε και σοί δοκεί,
και γιγνώσκοιμι άνδρας αγαθούς,
φαύλους δε μήτε εγώ μάθοιμι
μήτε εμέ φαύλοι!”

(Φιλόστρατος, Τα ες τον Τυανέα Απολλώνιον)


   Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεύς

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(EN SUIVANT  DE  15/04/2015)






Marcel Meulder







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Ἐξ ἀγορᾶς ἢ πόθεν Μενέξενος;


Ἐξ ἀγορᾶς, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ βουλευτηρίου.


Τί μάλιστα σοὶ πρὸς βουλευτήριον; Ἢ δῆλα δὴ ὅτι παιδεύσεως καὶ φιλοσοφίας ἐπὶ τέλει ἡγῇ εἶναι, καὶ ὡς ἱκανῶς ἤδη ἔχων ἐπὶ τὰ μείζω ἐπινοεῖς τρέπεσθαι, καὶ ἄρχειν ἡμῶν, ὦ θαυμάσιε, ἐπιχειρεῖς τῶν πρεσβυτέρων [234b] τηλικοῦτος ὤν, ἵνα μὴ ἐκλίπῃ ὑμῶν ἡ οἰκία ἀεί τινα ἡμῶν ἐπιμελητὴν παρεχομένη;


Ἐὰν σύ γε, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἐᾷς καὶ συμβουλεύῃς ἄρχειν, προθυμήσομαι· εἰ δὲ μή, οὔ. Νῦν μέντοι ἀφικόμην πρὸς τὸ βουλευτήριον πυθόμενος ὅτι ἡ βουλὴ μέλλει αἱρεῖσθαι ὅστις ἐρεῖ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἀποθανοῦσιν· ταφὰς γὰρ οἶσθ’ ὅτι μέλλουσι ποιεῖν.


Πάνυ γε· ἀλλὰ τίνα εἵλοντο;


Οὐδένα, ἀλλὰ ἀνεβάλοντο εἰς τὴν αὔριον. Οἶμαι μέντοι Ἀρχῖνον ἢ Δίωνα αἱρεθήσεσθαι.


Καὶ μήν, ὦ Μενέξενε, πολλαχῇ κινδυνεύει καλὸν εἶναι τὸ ἐν πολέμῳ ἀποθνῄσκειν. Καὶ γὰρ ταφῆς καλῆς τε καὶ μεγαλοπρεποῦς τυγχάνει, καὶ ἐὰν πένης τις ὢν τελευτήσῃ, καὶ ἐπαίνου αὖ ἔτυχεν, καὶ ἐὰν φαῦλος ᾖ, ὑπ’ ἀνδρῶν σοφῶν τε καὶ οὐκ εἰκῇ ἐπαινούντων, ἀλλὰ ἐκ πολλοῦ χρόνου λόγους παρεσκευασμένων, οἳ οὕτως καλῶς ἐπαινοῦσιν, ὥστε καὶ τὰ [235a] προσόντα καὶ τὰ μὴ περὶ ἑκάστου λέγοντες, κάλλιστά πως τοῖς ὀνόμασι ποικίλλοντες, γοητεύουσιν ἡμῶν τὰς ψυχάς, καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐγκωμιάζοντες κατὰ πάντας τρόπους καὶ τοὺς τετελευτηκότας ἐν τῷ πολέμῳ καὶ τοὺς προγόνους ἡμῶν ἅπαντας τοὺς ἔμπροσθεν καὶ αὐτοὺς ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἔτι ζῶντας ἐπαινοῦντες, ὥστ’ ἔγωγε, ὦ Μενέξενε, γενναίως πάνυ διατίθεμαι ἐπαινούμενος ὑπ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ ἑκάστοτε ἐξέστηκα [235b] ἀκροώμενος καὶ κηλούμενος, ἡγούμενος ἐν τῷ παραχρῆμα μείζων καὶ γενναιότερος καὶ καλλίων γεγονέναι. Καὶ οἷα δὴ τὰ πολλὰ ἀεὶ μετ’ ἐμοῦ ξένοι τινὲς ἕπονται καὶ συνακροῶνται πρὸς οὓς ἐγὼ σεμνότερος ἐν τῷ παραχρῆμα γίγνομαι· καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι ταὐτὰ ταῦτα δοκοῦσί μοι πάσχειν καὶ πρὸς ἐμὲ καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἄλλην πόλιν, θαυμασιωτέραν αὐτὴν ἡγεῖσθαι εἶναι ἢ πρότερον, ὑπὸ τοῦ λέγοντος ἀναπειθόμενοι. Καί μοι αὕτη ἡ σεμνότης παραμένει ἡμέρας πλείω [235c] ἢ τρεῖς· οὕτως ἔναυλος ὁ λόγος τε καὶ ὁ φθόγγος παρὰ τοῦ λέγοντος ἐνδύεται εἰς τὰ ὦτα, ὥστε μόγις τετάρτῃ ἢ πέμπτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναμιμνῄσκομαι ἐμαυτοῦ καὶ αἰσθάνομαι οὗ γῆς εἰμι, τέως δὲ οἶμαι μόνον οὐκ ἐν μακάρων νήσοις οἰκεῖν· οὕτως ἡμῖν οἱ ῥήτορες δεξιοί εἰσιν.


Ἀεὶ σὺ προσπαίζεις, ὦ Σώκρατες, τοὺς ῥήτορας. Νῦν μέντοι οἶμαι ἐγὼ τὸν αἱρεθέντα οὐ πάνυ εὐπορήσειν· ἐξ ὑπογύου γὰρ παντάπασιν ἡ αἵρεσις γέγονεν, ὥστε ἴσως ἀναγκασθήσεται ὁ λέγων ὥσπερ αὐτοσχεδιάζειν.


Πόθεν, ὠγαθέ; Εἰσὶν ἑκάστοις τούτων λόγοι παρεσκευασμένοι, καὶ ἅμα οὐδὲ αὐτοσχεδιάζειν τά γε τοιαῦτα χαλεπόν. εἰ μὲν γὰρ δέοι Ἀθηναίους ἐν Πελοποννησίοις εὖ λέγειν ἢ Πελοποννησίους ἐν Ἀθηναίοις, ἀγαθοῦ ἂν ῥήτορος δέοι τοῦ πείσοντος καὶ εὐδοκιμήσοντος· ὅταν δέ τις ἐν τούτοις ἀγωνίζηται οὕσπερ καὶ ἐπαινεῖ, οὐδὲν μέγα δοκεῖν εὖ λέγειν.


Οὐκ οἴει, ὦ Σώκρατες;


Οὐ μέντοι μὰ Δία.


Ἦ οἴει οἷός τ’ ἂν εἶναι αὐτὸς εἰπεῖν, εἰ δέοι καὶ ἕλοιτό σε ἡ βουλή;


Καὶ ἐμοὶ μέν γε, ὦ Μενέξενε, οὐδὲν θαυμαστὸν οἵῳ τ’ εἶναι εἰπεῖν, ᾧ τυγχάνει διδάσκαλος οὖσα οὐ πάνυ φαύλη περὶ ῥητορικῆς, ἀλλ’ ἥπερ καὶ ἄλλους πολλοὺς καὶ ἀγαθοὺς πεποίηκε ῥήτορας, ἕνα δὲ καὶ διαφέροντα τῶν Ἑλλήνων, Περικλέα τὸν Ξανθίππου.


Τίς αὕτη; Ἢ δῆλον ὅτι Ἀσπασίαν λέγεις;


Λέγω γάρ, καὶ Κόννον γε τὸν Μητροβίου· οὗτοι γάρ [236a] μοι δύο εἰσὶν διδάσκαλοι, ὁ μὲν μουσικῆς, ἡ δὲ ῥητορικῆς. Οὕτω μὲν οὖν τρεφόμενον ἄνδρα οὐδὲν θαυμαστὸν δεινὸν εἶναι λέγειν· ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅστις ἐμοῦ κάκιον ἐπαιδεύθη, μουσικὴν μὲν ὑπὸ Λάμπρου παιδευθείς, ῥητορικὴν δὲ ὑπ’ Ἀντιφῶντος τοῦ Ῥαμνουσίου, ὅμως κἂν οὗτος οἷός τ’ εἴη Ἀθηναίους γε ἐν Ἀθηναίοις ἐπαινῶν εὐδοκιμεῖν.


Καὶ τί ἂν ἔχοις εἰπεῖν, εἰ δέοι σε λέγειν;


Αὐτὸς μὲν παρ’ ἐμαυτοῦ ἴσως οὐδέν, Ἀσπασίας δὲ [236b] καὶ χθὲς ἠκροώμην περαινούσης ἐπιτάφιον λόγον περὶ αὐτῶν τούτων. Ἢκουσε γὰρ ἅπερ σὺ λέγεις, ὅτι μέλλοιεν Ἀθηναῖοι αἱρεῖσθαι τὸν ἐροῦντα· ἔπειτα τὰ μὲν ἐκ τοῦ παραχρῆμά μοι διῄει, οἷα δέοι λέγειν, τὰ δὲ πρότερον ἐσκεμμένη, ὅτε μοι δοκεῖ συνετίθει τὸν ἐπιτάφιον λόγον ὃν Περικλῆς εἶπεν, περιλείμματ’ ἄττα ἐξ ἐκείνου συγκολλῶσα.


Ἦ καὶ μνημονεύσαις ἂν ἃ ἔλεγεν ἡ Ἀσπασία;


Εἰ μὴ ἀδικῶ γε· ἐμάνθανόν γέ τοι παρ’ αὐτῆς, καὶ [236c] ὀλίγου πληγὰς ἔλαβον ὅτ’ ἐπελανθανόμην.


Τί οὖν οὐ διῆλθες;


Ἀλλ’ ὅπως μή μοι χαλεπανεῖ ἡ διδάσκαλος, ἂν ἐξενέγκω αὐτῆς τὸν λόγον.


Μηδαμῶς, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἀλλ’ εἰπέ, καὶ πάνυ μοι χαριῇ, εἴτε Ἀσπασίας βούλει λέγειν εἴτε ὁτουοῦν· ἀλλὰ μόνον εἰπέ.


Ἀλλ’ ἴσως μου καταγελάσῃ, ἄν σοι δόξω πρεσβύτης ὢν ἔτι παίζειν.


Οὐδαμῶς, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἀλλ’ εἰπὲ παντὶ τρόπῳ.


Ἀλλὰ μέντοι σοί γε δεῖ χαρίζεσθαι, ὥστε κἂν ὀλίγου, [236d] εἴ με κελεύοις ἀποδύντα ὀρχήσασθαι, χαρισαίμην ἄν, ἐπειδή γε μόνω ἐσμέν. Ἀλλ’ ἄκουε. Ἔλεγε γάρ, ὡς ἐγᾦμαι, ἀρξαμένη λέγειν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν τῶν τεθνεώτων οὑτωσί.

Ἔργῳ μὲν ἡμῖν οἵδε ἔχουσιν τὰ προσήκοντα σφίσιν αὐτοῖς, ὧν τυχόντες πορεύονται τὴν εἱμαρμένην πορείαν, προπεμφθέντες κοινῇ μὲν ὑπὸ τῆς πόλεως, ἰδίᾳ δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν οἰκείων· λόγῳ δὲ δὴ τὸν λειπόμενον κόσμον ὅ τε νόμος προστάττει [236e] ἀποδοῦναι τοῖς ἀνδράσιν καὶ χρή. Ἔργων γὰρ εὖ πραχθέντων λόγῳ καλῶς ῥηθέντι μνήμη καὶ κόσμος τοῖς πράξασι γίγνεται παρὰ τῶν ἀκουσάντων· δεῖ δὴ τοιούτου τινὸς λόγου ὅστις τοὺς μὲν τετελευτηκότας ἱκανῶς ἐπαινέσεται, τοῖς δὲ ζῶσιν εὐμενῶς παραινέσεται, ἐκγόνοις μὲν καὶ ἀδελφοῖς μιμεῖσθαι τὴν τῶνδε ἀρετὴν παρακελευόμενος, πατέρας δὲ καὶ μητέρας καὶ εἴ τινες τῶν ἄνωθεν ἔτι προγόνων λείπονται, τούτους δὲ [237a] παραμυθούμενος. Τίς οὖν ἂν ἡμῖν τοιοῦτος λόγος φανείη; Ἢ πόθεν ἂν ὀρθῶς ἀρξαίμεθα ἄνδρας ἀγαθοὺς ἐπαινοῦντες, οἳ ζῶντές τε τοὺς ἑαυτῶν ηὔφραινον δι’ ἀρετήν, καὶ τὴν τελευτὴν ἀντὶ τῆς τῶν ζώντων σωτηρίας ἠλλάξαντο; Δοκεῖ μοι χρῆναι κατὰ φύσιν, ὥσπερ ἀγαθοὶ ἐγένοντο, οὕτω καὶ ἐπαινεῖν αὐτούς. Ἀγαθοὶ δὲ ἐγένοντο διὰ τὸ φῦναι ἐξ ἀγαθῶν. Τὴν εὐγένειαν οὖν πρῶτον αὐτῶν ἐγκωμιάζωμεν, δεύτερον δὲ τροφήν [237b] τε καὶ παιδείαν· ἐπὶ δὲ τούτοις τὴν τῶν ἔργων πρᾶξιν ἐπιδείξωμεν, ὡς καλὴν καὶ ἀξίαν τούτων ἀπεφήναντο. Τῆς δ’ εὐγενείας πρῶτον ὑπῆρξε τοῖσδε ἡ τῶν προγόνων γένεσις οὐκ ἔπηλυς οὖσα, οὐδὲ τοὺς ἐκγόνους τούτους ἀποφηναμένη μετοικοῦντας ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ ἄλλοθεν σφῶν ἡκόντων, ἀλλ’ αὐτόχθονας καὶ τῷ ὄντι ἐν πατρίδι οἰκοῦντας καὶ ζῶντας, καὶ τρεφομένους οὐχ ὑπὸ μητρυιᾶς ὡς οἱ ἄλλοι, ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ [237c] μητρὸς τῆς χώρας ἐν ᾗ ᾤκουν, καὶ νῦν κεῖσθαι τελευτήσαντας ἐν οἰκείοις τόποις τῆς τεκούσης καὶ θρεψάσης καὶ ὑποδεξαμένης. Δικαιότατον δὴ κοσμῆσαι πρῶτον τὴν μητέρα αὐτήν· οὕτω γὰρ συμβαίνει ἅμα καὶ ἡ τῶνδε εὐγένεια κοσμουμένη.

Ἔστι δὲ ἀξία ἡ χώρα καὶ ὑπὸ πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἐπαινεῖσθαι, οὐ μόνον ὑφ’ ἡμῶν, πολλαχῇ μὲν καὶ ἄλλῃ, πρῶτον δὲ καὶ μέγιστον ὅτι τυγχάνει οὖσα θεοφιλής. Μαρτυρεῖ δὲ ἡμῶν τῷ λόγῳ ἡ τῶν ἀμφισβητησάντων περὶ αὐτῆς θεῶν [237d] ἔρις τε καὶ κρίσις· ἣν δὴ θεοὶ ἐπῄνεσαν, πῶς οὐχ ὑπ’ ἀνθρώπων γε συμπάντων δικαία ἐπαινεῖσθαι; Δεύτερος δὲ ἔπαινος δικαίως ἂν αὐτῆς εἴη, ὅτι ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ χρόνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἡ πᾶσα γῆ ἀνεδίδου καὶ ἔφυε ζῷα παντοδαπά, θηρία τε καὶ βοτά, ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἡμετέρα θηρίων μὲν ἀγρίων ἄγονος καὶ καθαρὰ ἐφάνη, ἐξελέξατο δὲ τῶν ζῴων καὶ ἐγέννησεν ἄνθρωπον, ὃ συνέσει τε ὑπερέχει τῶν ἄλλων καὶ δίκην καὶ θεοὺς μόνον [237e] νομίζει. Μέγα δὲ τεκμήριον τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ, ὅτι ἥδε ἔτεκεν ἡ γῆ τοὺς τῶνδέ τε καὶ ἡμετέρους προγόνους. Πᾶν γὰρ τὸ τεκὸν τροφὴν ἔχει ἐπιτηδείαν ᾧ ἂν τέκῃ, ᾧ καὶ γυνὴ δήλη τεκοῦσά τε ἀληθῶς καὶ μή, ἀλλ’ ὑποβαλλομένη, ἐὰν μὴ ἔχῃ πηγὰς τροφῆς τῷ γεννωμένῳ. Ὃ δὴ καὶ ἡ ἡμετέρα γῆ τε καὶ μήτηρ ἱκανὸν τεκμήριον παρέχεται ὡς ἀνθρώπους γεννησαμένη· μόνη γὰρ ἐν τῷ τότε καὶ πρώτη τροφὴν ἀνθρωπείαν [238a] ἤνεγκεν τὸν τῶν πυρῶν καὶ κριθῶν καρπόν, ᾧ κάλλιστα καὶ ἄριστα τρέφεται τὸ ἀνθρώπειον γένος, ὡς τῷ ὄντι τοῦτο τὸ ζῷον αὐτὴ γεννησαμένη. Μᾶλλον δὲ ὑπὲρ γῆς ἢ γυναικὸς προσήκει δέχεσθαι τοιαῦτα τεκμήρια· οὐ γὰρ γῆ γυναῖκα μεμίμηται κυήσει καὶ γεννήσει, ἀλλὰ γυνὴ γῆν. Τούτου δὲ τοῦ καρποῦ οὐκ ἐφθόνησεν, ἀλλ’ ἔνειμεν καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις. Μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο ἐλαίου γένεσιν, πόνων ἀρωγήν, ἀνῆκεν τοῖς [238b] ἐκγόνοις· θρεψαμένη δὲ καὶ αὐξήσασα πρὸς ἥβην ἄρχοντας καὶ διδασκάλους αὐτῶν θεοὺς ἐπηγάγετο· ὧν τὰ μὲν ὀνόματα πρέπει ἐν τῷ τοιῷδε ἐᾶν – ἴσμεν γάρ – οἳ τὸν βίον ἡμῶν κατεσκεύασαν πρός τε τὴν καθ’ ἡμέραν δίαιταν, τέχνας πρώτους παιδευσάμενοι, καὶ πρὸς τὴν ὑπὲρ τῆς χώρας φυλακὴν ὅπλων κτῆσίν τε καὶ χρῆσιν διδαξάμενοι.

Γεννηθέντες δὲ καὶ παιδευθέντες οὕτως οἱ τῶνδε πρόγονοι ᾤκουν πολιτείαν κατασκευασάμενοι, ἧς ὀρθῶς ἔχει διὰ βραχέων [238c] ἐπιμνησθῆναι. Πολιτεία γὰρ τροφὴ ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν, καλὴ μὲν ἀγαθῶν, ἡ δὲ ἐναντία κακῶν. Ὡς οὖν ἐν καλῇ πολιτείᾳ ἐτράφησαν οἱ πρόσθεν ἡμῶν, ἀναγκαῖον δηλῶσαι, δι’ ἣν δὴ κἀκεῖνοι ἀγαθοὶ καὶ οἱ νῦν εἰσιν, ὧν οἵδε τυγχάνουσιν ὄντες οἱ τετελευτηκότες. Ἡ γὰρ αὐτὴ πολιτεία καὶ τότε ἦν καὶ νῦν, ἀριστοκρατία, ἐν ᾗ νῦν τε πολιτευόμεθα καὶ τὸν ἀεὶ χρόνον ἐξ ἐκείνου ὡς τὰ πολλά. Καλεῖ δὲ ὁ μὲν αὐτὴν [238d] δημοκρατίαν, ὁ δὲ ἄλλο, ᾧ ἂν χαίρῃ, ἔστι δὲ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μετ’ εὐδοξίας πλήθους ἀριστοκρατία. Βασιλῆς μὲν γὰρ ἀεὶ ἡμῖν εἰσιν· οὗτοι δὲ τοτὲ μὲν ἐκ γένους, τοτὲ δὲ αἱρετοί· ἐγκρατὲς δὲ τῆς πόλεως τὰ πολλὰ τὸ πλῆθος, τὰς δὲ ἀρχὰς δίδωσι καὶ κράτος τοῖς ἀεὶ δόξασιν ἀρίστοις εἶναι, καὶ οὔτε ἀσθενείᾳ οὔτε πενίᾳ οὔτ’ ἀγνωσίᾳ πατέρων ἀπελήλαται οὐδεὶς οὐδὲ τοῖς ἐναντίοις τετίμηται, ὥσπερ ἐν ἄλλαις πόλεσιν, ἀλλὰ εἷς ὅρος, ὁ δόξας σοφὸς ἢ ἀγαθὸς εἶναι κρατεῖ καὶ ἄρχει. [238e] Αἰτία δὲ ἡμῖν τῆς πολιτείας ταύτης ἡ ἐξ ἴσου γένεσις. Αἱ μὲν γὰρ ἄλλαι πόλεις ἐκ παντοδαπῶν κατεσκευασμέναι ἀνθρώπων εἰσὶ καὶ ἀνωμάλων, ὥστε αὐτῶν ἀνώμαλοι καὶ αἱ πολιτεῖαι, τυραννίδες τε καὶ ὀλιγαρχίαι· οἰκοῦσιν οὖν ἔνιοι μὲν δούλους, οἱ δὲ δεσπότας ἀλλήλους νομίζοντες· ἡμεῖς δὲ καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι, [239a] μιᾶς μητρὸς πάντες ἀδελφοὶ φύντες, οὐκ ἀξιοῦμεν δοῦλοι οὐδὲ δεσπόται ἀλλήλων εἶναι, ἀλλ’ ἡ ἰσογονία ἡμᾶς ἡ κατὰ φύσιν ἰσονομίαν ἀναγκάζει ζητεῖν κατὰ νόμον, καὶ μηδενὶ ἄλλῳ ὑπείκειν ἀλλήλοις ἢ ἀρετῆς δόξῃ καὶ φρονήσεως.



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In the Name of Great Life may hallowed Light be glorifed.

A CHILD was planted out of the height, a mystery revealed in Jerusalem.2 The priests saw dreams; chill seized on their children, chill seized on Jerusalem.

Early in the morning he3 went to the temple. He opened his mouth in blasphemy and his lips of lying. He opened his mouth in blasphemy and spake to all of the priests:

“In my vision of the night I beheld, [I beheld] in my vision. When I lay there, I slept not and rested not, and sleep came not to me by night. I slept not and rested not, [and I beheld] that a star appeared and stood over Enishbai.4 Fire burned in Old Father (Abā Sābā) Zakhriā;5 three heaven-lights appeared.6The

pg. 36 sun sank and the lights rose. Fire lit up the house of the people (synagogue), smoke rose over the temple. A quaking quaked in the Throne-chariot,1 so that Earth removed from her seat. A star flew down into Judæa, a star flew down into Jerusalem. The sun appeared by night, and the moon rose by day.”

When the priests heard this, they cast dust on their head. Yaqif the priest weeps and Beni-Amin’s tears flow.2 Shilai and Shalbai3 cast dust on their heads. Elizar4 [the chief priest] opened his mouth and spake unto all of the priests: “Yaqif interprets dreams, but as yet he has no understanding of these. Beni-Amin interprets dreams; is he not a man who discloses your

pg. 37 secrets? Ṭāb-Yōmīn1 gives us no revelation, though you deem he can give information on all that is and [that] is not.

Earth groans out of season and is sent a-whirl through the heaven-spheres. Earth2 opens her mouth and speaks to Elizar: “Go to Lilyukh,3 that he may interpret the dreams you have seen,” Thereon Elizar opened his mouth and spake unto all of the priests: “Who goes to Lilyukh, that he may interpret the dreams you have seen?” Then wrote they a letter and put it in the hand of Ṭāb-Yōmīn. Ṭāb-Yōmīn took the letter and betook himself to Lilyukh, Lilyukh lay on his bed; sleep had not yet flown from him. A quaking came into his heart, shivered his heart and brought it down from its stay, Ṭāb-Yōmīn drew near to Lilyukh, Ṭāb-Yōmīn stepped up to Lilyukh, shook him out of his sleep and spake to him: “The priests saw dreams, . . . [the above paragraph is repeated verbally down to] . . . and the moon rose by day.”

When Lilyukh heard this, he cast dust on his head. Naked, Lilyukh rose from his bed and fetched the dream-book. He opens it and reads in it and looks for what stands there written. He opens it and reads therein and interprets the dreams in silence without reading aloud. He writes them in a letter and expounds them on a leaf. In it he says to them: “Woe unto you, all of you priests, for Enishbai shall bear a child. Woe unto you, ye rabbis, for a child shall be born in Jerusalem. Woe unto you, ye teachers and pupils, for Enishbai shall bear a child, woe unto you, Mistress Torah (the Law), for Yōhānā shall be born in Jerusalem.”

Lilyukh writes unto them in the letter and says to them: “The star, that came and stood over Enishbai: A child will be planted out of the height from above; he comes and will be given unto Enishbai. The fire, that burned in Old Father Zakhriā: Yōhānā will be born in Jerusalem.”

Ṭāb-Yōmīn took the letter and in haste made off to Jerusalem.

p. 38 He came and found all the priests sitting in sorrow. He took the letter and laid it in the hand of Elizar. He (E.) opens it and reads it and finds in it wondrous discourses. He opens it and reads it and sees what stands therein written. He reads it in silence and gives them no decision about it. Elizar then took it and laid it in the hand of Old Father Zakhriā. He (Z.) opens it and reads it and sees what stands therein written. He reads it in silence and gives no decision about it. Elizar now opened his mouth and spake to Old Father Zakhriā: “Old Father, get thee gone from Judæa, lest thou stir up strife in Jerusalem.” Old Father then raised his right hand and smote on the head Elizar: “Elizar, thou great house, thou head of all the priests! If thou in thy inner [part] knewest thy mother, thou wouldst not dare come into our synagogue. If thou in thy inner [part] knewest, thou wouldst not dare read the Torah. For thy mother was a wanton.1 A wanton was she, who did not match with the house of her husband’s father. As thy father had not the hundred gold staters for writing her the bill of divorcement, he abandoned her straightway and enquired not for her. Is there a day when I come and look forth,2 and see not Mīshā bar Amrā?3 Yea, is there a day when I come without praying in your synagogue, that you (pl.) should be false and dishonest and say a word which you have ne’er heard about me? Where is there a dead man who becomes living again, that Enishbai should bear a child? Where is there a blind man who becomes seeing, where is there a lame man for whom his feet [walk again], and where is there a mute who learns [to read in] a book, that Enishbai should bear a child? It is two and twenty years4 to-day that I have seen no wife. Nay, neither through me nor through you will Enishbai bear a child.”

Then all of the priests arose and said to Old Father Zakhriā, [they said] in reproach: “Be at rest and keep thy seat, Old Father, and let the calm of the Good (pl.) rest upon thee. Old

p. 39 Father, if there were no dreams in Judæa, then would all that Mīshā has said, be lying. Rather shall thy word and our word be made good, and the dreams we have seen. Yōhānā will receive Jordan and be called prophet in Jerusalem.”

Thereon Old Father removed himself from their midst, and Elizar followed him. Then were seen three lights (lit. lamps) which companied with him (Z.). They (the priests) ran up, caught Old Father by the hem of his robe and said to him: “Old Father, what is ‘t that goes before thee, and what is ‘t that follows thee?” Then answered he them: “O Elizar, thou great house, thou head of all of the priests, I know not whom the lights guard which go before me. I know not with whom the fire goes which follows me. [But] neither through me nor through you will Enishbai bear a child.”

Then all the priests rose and said to Old Father Zakhriā, [they said] in reproach: “Old Father Zakhriā, be at peace, firm and decided, for the child will be planted from out of the most high height and be given to thee in thy old age. Yōhānā will be born, Yōhānā will receive Jordan and be called prophet in Jerusalem. We will be baptized with his baptizing and with his pure sign [will we] be signed. We will take his bread and drink his drink and with him ascend to Light’s region.”

All the priests arose and said to Old Father Zakhriā, [they said] in reproach: “Old Father! We will enlighten thee as to thy race1 and thy fathers, from whom thou hast come forth. . . . [there follows a list of prophets and sages, beginning with Moses, which I omit, as it requires a lengthy commentary for which space here does not serve,—ending with]. . . Ṭāb-Yōmīn and the school-teachers have come forth from thy race. The blessed princes, who are thy forbears, Old Father, all of them have taken no wife and begotten no sons.2 Yet in their old age3 each of them

p. 40 had a son.1 They had sons, and they were prophets in Jerusalem. If now out of thee as well a prophet comes forth, thou dost then revive this race again. Yea, Yōhānā will be born and will be called prophet in Jerusalem.”

Then Elizar opened his mouth and said to Old Father: “Old Father! If Yōhānā receives Jordan, then will I be his servant, be baptized with his baptizing and signed with his pure sign. We will take his bread and drink his drink and with him ascend to Light’s region.” Then Old Father opened his mouth and said unto all of the priests: “If the child comes out of the most high height, what then will you do in Jerusalem?”

They2 have taken the child out of the basin of Jordan and laid him in the womb of Enishbai.

Life is victorious and victorious is the Man3 who has come hither.


Yahyā proclaims in the nights, Yōhānā on the Night’s evenings.4

YAHYĀ proclaims in the nights and says: “Through my Father’s discourses I give light and through the praise of the Man, my creator, I have freed my soul from the world and from the works that are hateful and wrong. The Seven5 put question to me, the Dead who have not seen Life, and they say: “In whose strength dost thou stand there, and with

p. 41 whose praise dost thou make proclamation?” Thereon I gave to them answer: “I stand in the strength of my Father and with the praise of the Man, my creator. I have built no house in Judæa, have set up no throne in Jerusalem. I have not loved the wreath of the roses, not commerce with lovely women. I have not loved the defective,1 not loved the cup of the drunkards. I have loved no food of the body, and envy has found no place in me. I have not forgotten my night-prayer, not forgotten wondrous Jordan. I have not forgotten my baptizing, not [forgotten] my pure sign. I have not forgotten Sun-day,2 and the Day’s evening has not condemned me. I have not forgotten Shilmai and Nibdai,3 who dwell in the House of the Mighty.4 They clear me and let me ascend; they know no fault, no defect is in me.”

When Yahyā said this, Life rejoiced over him greatly. The Seven sent him their greeting and the Twelve5 made obeisance before him. They said to him: “Of all these words which thou hast spoken, thou hast not said a single one falsely. Delightful and fair is thy voice, and none is an equal to thee. Fair is thy discourse in thy mouth and precious thy speech, which has been bestowed upon thee. The vesture which First Life did give unto Adam, the Man,6 the vesture which First Life did give unto Rām,7

p. 42 the Man, the vesture which First Life did give unto Shurbai,1 the Man, the vesture which First Life did give unto Shum bar Nū,2—has He given now unto thee. He hath given it thee, O Yahyā, that thou mayest ascend, and with thee may those ascend *   *   *   *   *   *   The house of defect3 will be left behind in the desert.4 Everyone who shall be found sinless, will ascend to thee to the Light’s region; he who is not found sinless, will be called to account in the guard-houses.”5

And Life is victorious.


Yahyā proclaims in the nights, Yōhānā on the Night’s evenings.

YAHYĀ proclaims in the nights and says: “In the name of Him who is wondrous and all-surpassing! The Sun sat in his Court (? Corona), and the Moon sat in the Dragon. The Four

p. 43 Winds of the House get them gone on their wings and blow not.”1

The Sun opened his mouth and spake unto Yahyā:2 “Thou hast three [head-] bands [and] a crown which equals in worth the whole world. Thou hast a ship of mashklil,3 which sails about here on the Jordan. Thou hast a great vessel which sails about here ‘twixt the waters.4 If thou goest to the House of the Great [One], remember us in the Great’s presence.” Thereon Yahyā, opened his mouth and spake to the Sun in Jerusalem: “Thou enquirest about the [head-] bands, may the Perfect (pl.) watch o’er thy crown. This mashklil-ship they have carpentered together5 with glorious splendour. On the vessel that sails ‘twixt the waters, the seal of the King has been set. She6 who in thy house7 plays the wanton, goes hence and approaches the dung-house;8 she seeks to have children from her own proper spouse,9 and she does not find them. If she then10 has fulfilled her vow, and she departs11 she is unworthy for the House of the Life and will not he alotted to the Light Dwelling.

And praisèd be Life.



by G. R. S. Mead


p. 35

1 Because Yōhānā is mentioned only once in the Genzā, Brandt supposes that the John-Book pieces must be later in date. But surely this is not a scientific conjecture. It is rather to be supposed that the John-pieces were naturally gathered together from the general mass of material when the collection-process began. Though Yahyā is the Arabic form of the name, Yōhānā alternates with it; this shows a later redaction in the Mohammedan period, when the people vulgarly spoke Arabic, but says nothing as to the date of earlier writings from which the pieces were copied out.

2 Ur-ashlam, a mock-name or derisive caricature-permutation = ‘Ur perfected’ it. Ur is originally the Chaldæan Deus Lunus; he is the eldest son of Rūhā, the World-Mother, and corresponds in some respects with the Yaldabaōth of ‘Ophite’ gnosticism.

3 Who it was is not disclosed. The dreamer’s report is at first utterly discredited.

4 The Elizabeth of Luke. The name may be some mystical echo of Elisheba, the wife of Aaron, the first priest, just as the Miriam of the Jesus birth-story reminds us of Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Moses, the first prophet. If the pre-Christian Palestinian Dorshē Reshumōth may be thought incapable of going so far, the Alexandrian Jewish allegorists, to whose school Philo belonged, would, and did, sublimate the sister or wife of a sage into a figure of his spiritual virtue or power. This will become clearer later on.

5 The Zacharias of Luke.

6 Cp. the more concrete three Magi motive. It should, however, be noted that Origen (1st half of 3rd cent.) is the first of the Fathers to state that the number of the Magi was 3; Chrysostom, 150 years later, gives their number as 12 (see Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science London, 1923, i. 472ff.).

p. 36

1 Merkabah; here presumably meaning heaven generally.

2 The narrative is largely in the familiar style of Danielic and Talmūdic chronological camouflage; the Daniel Book (c. 164 B.C.) throws back the religio-political conflict of the Jews with the kingdorn and Hellenistic religion of Antiochus Epiphanes to the days of Nebuchhadnezzar (c. 600 B.C.), and the Talmūd Jesus stories, for instance, throw back the setting to some 100 years B.C. or advance it to some 100 years A.D. See my Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.?—An Enquiry into the Talmūd-Jesus Stories, the Toldoth Jushu and Some Curious Statements of Epiphanius—Being a Contribution to the Study of Christian Origins (London, 1903). It is to be noted that the Talmūd knows nothing of John; it evidently regards the John-Jesus movement as one and the same kind of heresy. Y. and B. may perhaps be personified types of members of certain contemporary communities or mystical groups. In §54 Y. and B. are called the ‘Two Gold-sons.’ This reminds us of alchemical symbolism; see my tracing of ‘psychical’ alchemy to Babylon in The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition (London, 1919), Proem, pp. 25ff. They may have belonged to the early ‘Sons of the Sun’ tradition—the later Sampsæans of Epiphanius, still later in wider distribution known to the Moslim historians as Shemsīyeh (Shamish = the Sun). This hypothesis is strengthened by the apparently cryptic gloss Beni-Amin, ‘Sons of (the) Amēn’ (cp. Rev. iii. 14: These things saith the Amēn, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”). I have no space here to follow up this conjecture; but L. seems to me to be, not only nodding, but fast asleep, when he assumes that the Mandæan writers were simply ignoramuses who mistook Ben-Yamin for Beni-Amin. The Heb. derivation of Benjamin is given very variously In the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the O.T. L. refers to Yaqif (clearly Jacob) as Joseph.

3 Of whom we have no further information.

4 Can this be camouflage for Rabbi Eliazer ben Hyrcanus, the founder of the famous Rabbinical school at Lud (Lydda) and teacher of Akiba? He flourished 70-100 A.D. R. Eliazer was imprisoned for heresy; the Talmūd account connects this accusation of heresy with an interview between him and a certain Jacob of Kephar Sechania, a city in lower Galilee, who is said to have been one of the disciples of Jeshu ha-Notzri, i.e. J. the Nāzōræan (see D.J.L. 100 B.C.?—pp. 216 ff. for reference and discussion). But Eliazer is a name of great distinction in Pharisaic priestly tradition, especially that of the Maccabæan proto-martyr priest, the teacher of the martyred Seven Sons and the Mother in IV. Maccabees.

p. 37

1 Unidentified by L. Can it be camouflage for Tabbai, father of R. Jehuda, who was ‘pair’ to Simeon ben Shetach, in the Pal. Talmūd Jesus-story (Chag. 77d), see Mead, op. cit., pp. 148f.

2 The source of E.’s inspiration is the Earth; the source of John’s is the Sun (see below §20—p. 43).

3 This is most probably Elijah (the Eliyahū of the O.T.); I owe this illuminating conjecture to Dr. M. Gaster. Is there here also a hidden reference to an existing ‘School of the Prophets’?

p. 38

1 This is the same motive as that in the Talmūd Jesus-stories and Toldoth. It is the language of popular, Bazaar theological controversy, and is in keeping with Jewish figurative diction in which ‘fornication’ is the general term for all lapses from right religious beliefs and views.

2 ? in vision.

3 Moses, son of ‘Amram.

4 Elsewhere we learn that Zakhriā was 99 and Enishbai 88 at John’s birth and that John himself began his ministry at the age of 22. A mystic psephology is here clearly employed.

p. 39

1 Sc. the race of the righteous, of the spiritual or perfect. It has many names in mystical literature of the first centuries, as for instance in Philo, who distinguishes ‘race’ and ‘kin’ of God from ‘people’ of God. See for references and quotations my Thrice-greatest Hermes (London, 1906), Index s.v. ‘Race.’

2 The same mystic idea underlies the words of Philo about the women Therapeuts (D.V.C.): “Their longing is not for mortal children, but for a deathless progeny which the soul that is in love with God can alone bring forth.” See my translation in Fragments of a Faith Forgotten (London, 2nd ed., 1906), p. 75. It is the Melchisedec motive also.

3 The Later Platonists glossed ‘old age’ as used by Plato to signify the age of wisdom.

p. 40

1 The prophets are god-sons of their god-parents; father and son are the usual terms for the relationship between master and pupil in sacred things.

2 That is, the heavenly messengers.

3 The Heavenly Man of Light. The Man-doctrine is an essential element of the Gnosis, as it was also with Jesus. (‘Son of Man’ is the Aramæan idiom for ‘Man’ simply.) See Reitzenstein’s Poimandres(Leipzig, 1904), my Thrice-greatest Hermes (1906), and Bousset, op. cit. (1907), indexes.

4 This introductory formula, as is the case with other headings and conclusions, is due to the collectors and editors. It is unexplained, but seems to refer to the dark period before the dawn of the Day of Light which was expected. The days of this age are spiritual nights. N.B. (a prophet ‘proclaims,’ he does not ‘preach.’

5 This-World-rulers or Archontes, the Planets or Planetary Spirits, which the MM. regarded as evil powers. They are the ‘Dead’ as having no spiritual Life.

p. 41

1 A technical term—the things that ‘fall short’ as compared with the ‘fulness’ of perfection; cp. the plērōma and hysterēma of numerous Greek Gnostic documents.

2 Brandt (Art. E.R.E.) apologetically conjectures that this observance of Sun-day (hab šabbā) was taken over from Syro-Christian usage. But reverence for Sun-day is fundamental with the MM., and it is one of their celestial personifications. The MM. loathed idolatry and sun-worship; they worshipped Life and Light, but may have venerated the light as the symbol of that Light. The same puzzle occurs with the prayer-custom of the Essenes, who turned to the rising sun in their morning orisons. The problem we have here to face is the existence of a pre-Christian Sun-day as rigidly observed as the Jews and others kept the Sabbath, and not a ‘Pagan’ holy-day.

3 The twin Jordan-Watchers.

4 Sc. Life.

5 The powers of the Cosmic Animal-life Circle or Zodiac, which were held by the MM. to be equally inimical with the Seven. Both orders were sons of the World-mother Namrūs, generally called Rūhā, i.e.Spirit, the World-spirit, spirit here being used in the wide-spread sense of the lower, animal spirit.

6 Sc. the Celestial Man or Adam of Light.

7 Rām the Great, coupled also with Bīhrām (presumably the Pahlavi or Later Persian form, also Bahrām = Avestan Verethragna).

p. 42

1 Not identified.

2 Shem, son of Noah. The first age or world-period was that of Adam; the second, of Rām and Rūd (fem.); the third, of Shurbai and Sharhab-ēl; the fourth, that of the Flood. The second generation perished by the sword and pestilence, the third by fire (cp. § 25 below). The Indian yugas came from the same source. As to the prophetica1 vesture in this special connection, apart from the more general wide-spread notion of the garment of light or robe of glory, cp. the Rabbinical tradition in the mediæval Yaschar or Sepher Hai-yaschar (The Book of the Just, more commonly known as The Book of the Generations of Adam or The Book of the History of Man) which contains ancient material, translated into French by Chevalier P. L. B. Drach: “After the death of Adam and Eve the coats [sc. of skin—see R. Eisler’s brilliant conjecture that J. the B. outwardly assumed his camel’s hair robe in memory of the first garments of the fallen protoplasts, as a sign of repentance, in the preceding study] were given to Enoch, son of Jared. Enoch, at the time of his being taken to God, gave them to his son Methusaleh. After the death of Methusaleh, Noah took them and hid them in the Ark. Ham stole them, and hid them so successfully that his brethren were unable to find them. Ham gave them secretly to his eldest son, Chus, who made a mystery of it to his brothers and sons. When Nimrod [ = Zoroaster, see Bousset, op. cit., index] reached the age of 20 years, he (Chus) clothed him with the vesture, which gave him extraordinary strength” Migne, Dic. des Apocryphes, ii. 1102, 1150; and see my World-Mystery (London, 2nd ed., 1907), § ‘The Soul-Vestures,’ pp. 115ff.). It would not be difficult to penetrate under the camouflage of the Rabbinic tradition, but space does not serve.

3 Sc. the body.

4 Mystice ‘this world’?

5 The prison-houses of the Seven and Twelve.

p. 43

1 All was at peace, the Sun shining brightly, the Moon sunk in the darkness beneath. Cp. ‘The Mystic Hymnody’ at the end of ‘The Secret Sermon on the Mountain’ (Corp. Herm. xiii-xiv., Mead ii. 230): “Ye Heavens open, and ye Winds stay still; [and] let God’s Deathless Sphere receive my word!”

2 Note that it is the Earth that speaks to Elizar (§ 18—p. 37), signifying the lower source of his inspiration.

3 Meaning not yet determined; L. thinks it means some sort of wood, but this does not seem to be very appropriate.

4 Sc. the waters above and the waters below the firmament.

5 For the Carpenter-motive in connection with the John-Noah hewing of the timber for the salvation-ark-building see the previous study and especially the Samaritan Midrash concering the S. Ta’eb (Deliverer or Messiah) and the mystic ark of conversion (pp. 8 and 21f.).

6 A cryptic sentence referring to the ‘fornicators’ who are not true to the True Religion of MM.; ‘she’ = the soul.

7 That is the world-house illuminated by the Sun.

8 Sc. hell.

9 Sc. God, as in the thought-sphere of Philo’s Therapeuts.

10 After renouncing heretical views.

11 That is from the body.

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Τα λογοτεχνικά πρότυπα των γυναικείων μορφών στις Μεταμορφώσεις του Απουλήιου και η λειτουργία τους (ι)

(ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΕΤΑΙ ΑΠΟ   22/02/16)

Σύμφωνα με τον Harrison, η πραγμάτευση τέτοιων θεμάτων που προσιδιάζουν στη σοβαρή θεματική του έπους μέσα στα πλαίσια μιας διήγησης για γυναικείες απιστίες αναδεικνύουν τη ρεαλιστική εξεικόνιση της ιταμότητας των χαρακτήρων σε αυτές, καθώς και την κυνική θεώρηση των ελαττωμάτων της ανθρώπινης φύσης190 . Επιπλέον, μια τέτοια τακτική παρώδησης είναι συνηθισμένη στο θέατρο του μίμου191 . Ιδιαίτερα, το είδος του ρωμαϊκού μίμου, που ήταν αρκετά διαδεδομένο και αγαπητό στη Ρωμαϊκή αυτοκρατορία, θεωρήθηκε πηγή έμπνευσης για τον Απουλήιο στις ιστορίες του ένατου βιβλίου192. Ο ίδιος ο πρωταγωνιστής Λούκιος προσδιορίζει την πλοκή της αφήγησής του κάνοντας χρήση του θεατρικού όρου scaenae ( scaenas fraudulentas 9.15)193 . Πρόκειται για ορολογία που συνδέεται άμεσα με τις παραστάσεις μίμου194 .

Η θεματολογία των μίμων είναι τυπική και αφορά σε άνδρες συζύγους, εύπιστους, ανόητους και εξαπατημένους, οι οποίοι επιστρέφουν ξαφνικά σπίτι τους και καταστρέφουν το σχέδιο της ραδιούργας και ακόλαστης συζύγου να απολαύσει τον εραστή της195. Έτσι, συναντούμε τύπους ανδρών που είναι αυστηροί, αλλά εξαπατώνται, όπως ο Βάρβαρος, άλλους που είναι σκληροί, αλλά δεν πέφτουν θύματα απάτης, όπως ο βαφέας, και άλλους που αποτελούν ένα μείγμα πανουργίας και αδιαφορίας, όπως ο μυλωνάς196. Ενδεικτικό στοιχείο της θεατρικότητας στην ιστορία της γυναίκας του μυλωνά είναι και η κρυψώνα του εραστή197. Ακούγοντας το σύζυγό της να επιστρέφει, κρύβει το Φιλησίθηρο κάτω από μια σκάφη ( alveo ligneo 9.23). Όπως παρατηρεί ο Winkler, η γειτνίαση του χώρου, όπου βρίσκεται το συζυγικό ζεύγος, με το σημείο στο οποίο κρύβεται ο εραστής, ενώ αυτός θα μπορούσε να τρέξει στο διπλανό δωμάτιο ή να ξεφύγει από το παράθυρο, είναι δείγμα πως η σκηνή έχει γραφεί, για να παιχτεί198. Επιπλέον, ένας από τους λογοτεχνικούς  μίμους του Λαβερίου τιτλοφορείται Fullo (Gellius 16.7.5), ενώ ο ρόλος του fullo ήταν πολύ σημαντικός και στις Ατελλανές φάρσες199 . Επίσης, ένας άλλος χαρακτήρας της ιστορίας, η γριά υπηρέτρια, η οποία αφηγείται τα ερωτικά κατορθώματα του Φιλησίθηρου και τον συστήνει στην κυρία της, μπορεί να ενταχθεί στη λογοτεχνική παράδοση των ελληνικών μιμιάμβων, όπως για παράδειγμα η Γυλλίς στον πρώτο μιμίαμβο του Ηρώδα200.

Από την άλλη, το ίδιο πρόσωπο μπορεί να θεωρηθεί τυπικό μιας ελεγειακής lena, ενώ η γυναίκα του μυλωνά καταλαμβάνει τη θέση της αγαπημένης puella. Το πιο παραστατικό πορτρέτο μιας τέτοιας μισητής γριάς προαγωγού παρατίθεται από τον Προπέρτιο (4.5) και τον Οβίδιο (Am. 1.8). Η Ακανθίς του Προπέρτιου και η Διψάς του Οβίδιου προσπαθούν να πλανέψουν την κοπέλα με γλυκόλογα και να τη στρέψουν σε έναν άλλον εραστή. Είναι αξιοσημείωτο πως και στις δύο περιπτώσεις ο αφηγητής-ποιητής αγανακτεί με τη γυναικεία ραδιουργία, και ιδιαίτερα στον Οβίδιο, ακούει τις εκμαυλιστικές προτροπές, ενώ είναι κρυμμένος στην πόρτα (Am.1.8.21-22), θυμίζοντας έτσι την περίπτωση του Λούκιου που ακούει τη συνομιλία με τη βοήθεια των μεγάλων αυτιών του (Met. 9.15)201. Παρόλα αυτά, η ελεγειακή puella στα μάτια του εραστή της δεν ξεπέφτει στο επίπεδο της συζύγου του μυλωνά.

Ακόμη, ο Φιλησίθηρος εγκωμιάζεται από τη γριά και θεωρείται άξιος να φέρει χρυσό στεφάνι: «dignus solus coronam auream capite gestare» (Met. 9.16). Η εικόνα του χρυσού στεφάνου υποδηλώνει στρατιωτική εκστρατεία και αποδίδει στο νεαρό εραστή το ρόλο του ελεγειακού miles amator, που ενδιαφέρεται μάλλον για ερωτικές μάχες202 . Στον Οβίδιο ο εραστής τίθεται στην υπηρεσία του θεού Cupido που διαθέτει το δικό του στρατόπεδο (militat omnis amans et habet sua castra Cupido Am. 1.9.1). Με ανάλογο τρόπο ο Φιλησίθηρος με την Αρετή παραδίδονται στην ηδονή και η σκηνή περιγράφεται με στρατιωτικούς όρους: «commodum nouis amplexibus Amori rudi litabant, commodum prima stipendia Veneri militabant nudi milites» (Met. 9.20)203 . Στον κόσμο όμως του συγκεκριμένου μυθιστορήματος η αντιστροφή των ιδιοτήτων και το πέρασμα μέσα από τα διάφορα λογοτεχνικά είδη ανατρέπει τα στερεότυπα. Για παράδειγμα, η γριά ακόλουθος υποδύεται και το ρόλο της τροφού της τραγωδίας και ιδίως της ευριπίδειας204. Στον Ιππόλυτο η παραμάνα της Φαίδρας, βλέποντάς την να υποφέρει από τον έρωτά της, τη συμβουλεύει να γνωστοποιήσει τις ερωτικές προθέσεις της στον πρόγονό της (Ιππ. 433-524)205.

Η γυναίκα του μυλωνά, με αυτήν την αντιστοιχία, παρουσιάζεται σαν μια Φαίδρα. Οι διαφορές ωστόσο είναι προφανείς. Το ενδιαφέρον της τροφού για τη Φαίδρα και η ανησυχία για την υγεία της είναι ειλικρινής, η Φαίδρα διατηρεί τη μεγαλοπρέπειά της και ο Ιππόλυτος παραμένει αγνός. Από την άλλη, η υπηρέτρια στον Απουλήιο είναι συνεργός της κυρίας της στις ακολασίες και μπεκροπίνει μαζί της (Met. 9.15), η μοιχαλίδα σύζυγος είναι ερωτικά ακόρεστη, ενώ ο Φιλησίθηρος ένας χαμερπής Ιππόλυτος206. Τα πρόσωπα της μυθιστορίας αποτελούν καρικατούρες των αντίστοιχων επιβλητικών χαρακτήρων της τραγωδίας.

Τέλος, ο Λούκιος αποδίδει στο πρόσωπο της γυναίκας του αφεντικού του μια πληθώρα ελαττωμάτων, που την κατατάσσουν ανάμεσα στις χειρότερες γυναίκες του κόσμου: «nec enim uel unum uitium nequissimae illi feminae deerat, sed omnia prorsus ut in quandam caenosam latrinam in eius animum flagitia confluxerant: saeua scaeua uiriosa ebriosa peruicax pertinax, in rapinis turpibus auara, in sumptibus foedis profusa, inimica fidei, hostis pudicitiae. Tunc spretis atque calcatis diuinis numinibus in uicem certae religionis mentita sacrilega praesumptione dei, quem praedicaret unicum, confictis obseruationibus uacuis fallens omnis homines et miserum maritum decipiens matutino mero et continuo stupro corpus manciparat» Met. 9.14). Η δομή της περιγραφής είναι προσεγμένη και αποτελείται από δύο περίπου ίσα μέρη. Στο πρώτο, nec enim… pudicitiae, καταγράφονται τα πάθη της γυναίκας με μια κλιμάκωση. Στο δεύτερο, tunc… manciparat, αναφέρονται τρία, από τα οποία το πρώτο (contemptrix deorum) δεν εμφανίζεται στην πρώτη λίστα, ενώ τα άλλα δύο εστιάζονται στη μέθη και την πορνεία207 . Η επίθεση αυτή εναντίον της μπορεί να ενταχθεί στη γενικότερη λογοτεχνική παράδοση του ψόγου των γυναικών, η οποία εκφράστηκε χαρακτηριστικά από το Σημωνίδη τον Αμοργίνο στα μέσα του έβδομου αιώνα π.Χ. με τον ίαμβο των  γυναικών208, ενώ στη λατινική λογοτεχνία εκπρόσωπός της είναι ο Ιουβενάλης κυρίως με την έκτη σάτιρά του209. Σε αυτήν, ο ποιητής εξορκίζει ένα φίλο του, που σκέφτεται να παντρευτεί, να μην το κάνει, γιατί δεν έχουν απομείνει φρόνιμες γυναίκες. Υποστηρίζει αυτόν τον ισχυρισμό του σκιαγραφώντας με έξοχο τρόπο τις αδυναμίες γυναικείων τύπων, ανάμεσα στους οποίους κεντρική θέση κατέχουν η μοιχαλίδα και αυτή που επιδίδεται στη μαγεία και τη φαρμακεία.

Είναι ενδεικτική η επίκρισή του στις γυναίκες που περιφρονούν την αρχαία θεά Pudicitia, όχι μόνο επειδή απώλεσαν τις ιδιότητες που αντιπροσωπεύει, αλλά επιπλέον επειδή βεβηλώνουν το άγαλμά της: i nunc et dubita qua sorbeat aera sanna/ Maura, Pudicitiae ueterem cum praeterit aram (6.306-307). Από την άλλη, ιδιαίτερα εκτεταμένη είναι η καταλογογράφηση των εραστών που επιλέγουν οι γυναίκες, για να απατούν τους συζύγους τους. Άλλες ποθούν χορευτές (63-64), άλλες ηθοποιούς (67-69), ενώ μία σύζυγος συγκλητικού, εγκατέλειψε την οικογένειά της για ένα μονομάχο (82-113)210 .

Είναι επομένως φανερό πως οι απόψεις του Απουλήιου και του Ιουβενάλη, παρά το χρονικό διάστημα των δύο περίπου γενεών που τους χωρίζει, συμπίπτουν σε μεγάλο βαθμό ως προς τη σκληρή αντιμετώπιση του γυναικείου φύλου. Η ομοιότητα εντοπίζεται κυρίως στις γενικές εικόνες και όχι τόσο λεκτικά, και αυτό συμβαίνει, επειδή ο καθένας τους υπηρετεί τις συμβάσεις του λογοτεχνικού είδους που καλλιεργεί. Βέβαια, κυριαρχεί η χιουμοριστική διάθεση που φθάνει στα όρια του σαρκασμού, καθώς ακολουθούν και οι δύο την προγενέστερη λογοτεχνία, η οποία χρησιμοποιούσε τη διακωμώδηση των γυναικείων ελαττωμάτων, για να διασκεδάσει τους αναγνώστες211 .



190 Harrison (2006) 31.

191 Walsh (2000) 59, Hiijmans et al. (1995) 200.

192 Harrison (2006) 23, Bechtle (1995) 106. Για μια αναλυτική εξέταση των μίμων με θέματα μοιχείας βλ. Kehoe (1984) 89-106. Σύμφωνα με τον Walsh (2000) 53-59 η επίδραση του μίμου είναι πολύ πιο ισχυρή στα Σατυρικά του Πετρώνιου παρά στις Μεταμορφώσεις.

193 Hiijmans et al. (1995) 148, 387.

194 Πρβλ. Ovid. Trist. 2.514: «scaenica…adulteria»

195 Lateiner (2000) 316.

196 Winkler (1985) 15-16, που παρατηρεί πως, ενώ ολόκληρη η ιστορία παρουσιάζει μια ποικιλομορφία του θέματος της μοιχείας, το σύνολο των χαρακτήρων παραμένει ίδιο. 197 Hiijmans et al. (1995) 205.

198 Winkler (1985) 163.

199 Harrison (2006) 25, όπου εξετάζεται η προέλευση του κωμικού τύπου του βαφέα από την κωμωδία.

200 Hiijmans et al. (1995) 147.

201 Harrison (2006) 28.

202 Frangoulidis (2001) 108. Hiijmans et al. (1995) 155-56 παρατηρούν πως το χρυσό στεφάνι παραπέμπει σε θρίαμβο και παραλληλίζουν το Φιλησίθηρο με τον Hercules invictus.

203 Westerbrink (1978) 71.

204 Η γριά υπηρέτρια της γυναίκας του μυλωνά μοιράζεται κάποια κοινά σημεία και με τη γριά υπηρέτρια των ληστών που διηγείται την ιστορία του Έρωτα και της Ψυχής στη Χάριν, αν και η δεύτερη προσομοιάζει περισσότερο στην ελεγειακή lena, βλ. Hiijmans et al. (1995) 147.

205 Ο ρόλος της τροφού (nutrix) σε ελληνικές και ρωμαϊκές τραγωδίες αναλύεται από τη May (2006) 250-252.

206 Harrison (2006) 28.

207 Hiijmans et al. (1995) 141

208 Lesky (1990) 180.

209 Για την επίδραση της ρωμαϊκής γενικότερα σάτιρας στο σύνολο των Μεταμορφώσεων βλ. Zimmerman (2006) 87-104.

210 Για τον τρόπο αντιμετώπισης των γυναικών από τον Ιουβενάλη και τον Απουλήιο βλ. Carr (1982) 61-64

211 Carr (1982) 64.

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Transhumanism and Healthy Life Extension

You may have noticed references to transhumanism and transhumanists in posts here at Fight Aging! What is transhumanism, and how is it relevant to longevity science and the work of extending the healthy human life span? Read on for a short overview: transhumanism in a nutshell.

Transhumanism is a cultural movement and philosophy of action that builds upon humanism, so we should look at humanism first of all. Humanism is an influential, time-honored philosophy that argues for rationality and certain fundamental human rights, freedoms, and responsibilities. Humanist thinkers have for centuries discussed and advocated the existence of humane societies, human cultures built on reason and free inquiry. In terms of addressing everyday life, humanist philosophy attempts to answer questions like “How should we behave toward one another?” or “What is the best way to live within the constraints imposed on us by the human condition?” In essence, humanist thinkers across the ages tell us this:


We’re all in the same boat here: by all means work towards your dreams, but be nice to your neighbor and don’t tread on anyone’s toes.

Like humanism, transhumanism is a philosophy of life and human action: an evolving, much-debated collection of ideas about society, goals, and the best way to live. Transhumanism extends the foundation of humanism by embracing technological progress for the purpose of overcoming the limitations and suffering inherent in the present human condition. Transhumanism is, fundamentally, the idea that humanity can, and should, strive to overcome naturally existing limits in order to attain greater individual choice and capabilities – physically, mentally, and socially. Transhumanist thinkers tell us this:


Humanism is a good start. But while being nice and not treading on toes, the dreams we work towards can include a fleet of better boats for all of us.

As you might imagine, transhumanism as a cultural movement is closely tied to an enthusiasm for ethical, responsible, and rapid technological progress. Progress in science and technology brings greater choice to individuals and adds new options for improving the human condition. This is really nothing new: we humans have been pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps for millennia: fire, farming, steam, bicycles, antibiotics, vaccines, modern dentistry, cell phones, and so forth. Each new invention, and the science that enabled it, allows us to overcome a limitation or a cause of suffering. We can fly where we couldn’t before, we can survive diseases that once killed or crippled us, and we can engage in ten thousand new types of entertaining or challenging activities that once upon a time didn’t even exist.

Transhumanists take this common sense view of technological progress and look ahead to a future in which far greater and more beneficial advances are possible: modern science and technology can lead to radical improvements in the human condition, and so should be used to this end. If today we enjoy our newfound ability to communicate cheaply across vast distances, for example, then tomorrow we might enjoy the benefits of longevity science, organ regeneration, and aging reversal. These and many other transformative changes that might be produced by new biotechnologies are very plausible, foreseen by scientists around the world, and we should welcome their advent.

Given the emphasis that transhumanist thought places on progress and overcoming the limitations that make life difficult or cause suffering, it is only natural that transhumanists should support longevity science, rejuvenation medicine, and other forms of advanced biotechnology. Aging and age-related disease takes a terrible toll on us all, yet may plausibly be slowed or reversed in the decades ahead. Transhumanism and advocacy for longer, healthier lives have gone hand-in-hand for many writers since the 1980s – and even earlier, before transhumanism acquired its present name. At that time, few people took life extension research seriously and it was very much in the fringe, both in academia and the medical research community.

Most influential transhumanist thinkers have at one time or another written on the subject of extending life through biotechnology, and many have done so extensively. When you read about applied aging research, progress in understanding the genetics of human longevity, and progress towards medicine that can extend the healthy human life span, remember that transhumanists have been advocating greater awareness of – and funding for – this promising field of research for a good many years.

Last updated: August 20th 2013.


would not the etheric body the chakras that balance the energy and keep our bodys and mind healthy and balanced help mankind to live longer

Posted by: gerald jagla at August 5, 2014 8:50 AM

Extending human life beyond traditional norms seems wonderful to an individual, but I fear for the planet and the human race if the technology becomes desired by all people on our globe.
We, as older people, must eventually get out of the workforce, and out of our houses, in order for there to be desirable jobs and places to live for young families.
The human population has grown from one billion in 1800, to two billion in 1927, four billion in 1974, to 8 billion in 2011. This is not sustainable for much longer.



Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatlyenhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.[1] Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as theethics of developing and using such technologies.[2] The most common thesis put forward is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the labelposthuman.[1]

The contemporary meaning of the term transhumanism was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology,FM-2030, who taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School in the 1960s, when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and worldviews “transitional” to posthumanity as “transhuman“.[3] This hypothesis would lay the intellectual groundwork for the British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism as a futurist philosophy in 1990 and organizing in California an intelligentsia that has since grown into the worldwide transhumanist movement.[3][4][5]

Influenced by seminal works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives.[3] Transhumanism has been characterized by one critic, Francis Fukuyama, as among the world’s most dangerous ideas,[6] to which Ronald Bailey countered that it is rather the “movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative and idealistic aspirations of humanity”.[7]


According to Nick Bostrom,[1] transcendentalist impulses have been expressed at least as far back as in the quest for immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as in historical quests for the Fountain of Youth, the Elixir of Life, and other efforts to stave off aging and death.

There is debate about whether the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche can be considered an influence on transhumanism despite its exaltation of the “Übermensch” (overman or superman), due to its emphasis on self-actualization, rather than technological transformation.[1][8][9][10] The transhumanist philosophies by Max Moreand Stefan Lorenz Sorgner have been influenced strongly by Nietzschean thinking.[8]

Early transhumanist thinking

Julian Huxley, the biologist who coined the term transhumanism in 1957.

Fundamental ideas of transhumanism were first advanced in 1923 by the British geneticist J. B. S. Haldane in his essay Daedalus: Science and the Future, which predicted that great benefits would come from applications of advanced sciences to human biology—and that every such advance would first appear to someone as blasphemy or perversion, “indecent and unnatural”. In particular, he was interested in the development of the science of eugenics, ectogenesis (creating and sustaining life in an artificial environment) and the application of genetics to improve human characteristics, such as health and intelligence.

His article inspired academic and popular interest. J. D. Bernal, a crystallographer at Cambridge, wrote The World, the Flesh and the Devil in 1929, in which he speculated on the prospects of space colonization and radical changes to human bodies and intelligence through bionic implants and cognitive enhancement.[11] These ideas have been common transhumanist themes ever since.[1]

The biologist Julian Huxley is generally regarded as the founder of transhumanism, after he coined the term in an article written in 1957:

Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, ‘nasty, brutish and short’; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery… we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted… The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself — not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity.[12]

This definition differs, albeit not substantially, from the one commonly in use since the 1980s. The ideas raised by these thinkers were explored in the science fictionof the 1960s, notably in Arthur C. Clarke‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which an alien artifact grants transcendent power to its wielder.[13]

Japanese Metabolist architects produced a manifesto in 1960 which outlined goals to “encourage active metabolic development of our society”[14] through design and technology. In the Material and Man section of the manifesto, Noboru Kawazoe suggests that:

After several decades, with the rapid progress of communication technology, every one will have a “brain wave receiver” in his ear, which conveys directly and exactly what other people think about him and vice versa. What I think will be known by all the people. There is no more individual consciousness, only the will of mankind as a whole.[15]

Artificial intelligence and the technological singularity

The concept of the technological singularity, or the ultra-rapid advent of superhuman intelligence, was first proposed by the British cryptologist I. J. Good in 1965:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make. [16]

Computer scientist Marvin Minsky wrote on relationships between human and artificial intelligence beginning in the 1960s.[17] Over the succeeding decades, this field continued to generate influential thinkers such as Hans Moravec and Raymond Kurzweil, who oscillated between the technical arena and futuristic speculations in the transhumanist vein.[18][19] The coalescence of an identifiable transhumanist movement began in the last decades of the 20th century. In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly F. M. Esfandiary), a futurist who taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School, in New York City, began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to posthumanity as “transhuman“.[20] In 1972, Robert Ettinger contributed to the conceptualization of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman.[21][22] FM-2030 published the Upwingers Manifesto in 1973.[23]

Growth of transhumanism

Cover of the first issue of h+ Magazine, a web-based quarterly publication that focuses on transhumanism.

The first self-described transhumanists met formally in the early 1980s at the University of California, Los Angeles, which became the main center of transhumanist thought. Here, FM-2030 lectured on his “Third Way” futurist ideology. At the EZTV Media venue, frequented by transhumanists and other futurists, Natasha Vita-More presented Breaking Away, her 1980 experimental film with the theme of humans breaking away from their biological limitations and the Earth’s gravity as they head into space.[24][25] FM-2030 and Vita-More soon began holding gatherings for transhumanists in Los Angeles, which included students from FM-2030’s courses and audiences from Vita-More’s artistic productions. In 1982, Vita-More authored the Transhumanist Arts Statement[26] and, six years later, produced the cable TV show TransCentury Update on transhumanity, a program which reached over 100,000 viewers.

In 1986, Eric Drexler published Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology,[27] which discussed the prospects fornanotechnology and molecular assemblers, and founded the Foresight Institute. As the first non-profit organization to research, advocate for, and perform cryonics, the Southern California offices of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation became a center for futurists. In 1988, the first issue of Extropy Magazine was published by Max More and Tom Morrow. In 1990, More, a strategic philosopher, created his own particular transhumanist doctrine, which took the form of the Principles of Extropy, and laid the foundation of modern transhumanism by giving it a new definition:[28]

Transhumanism is a class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuing of human (or transhuman) existence in this life. […] Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies […].

In 1992, More and Morrow founded the Extropy Institute, a catalyst for networking futurists and brainstorming new memeplexes by organizing a series of conferences and, more importantly, providing a mailing list, which exposed many to transhumanist views for the first time during the rise of cyberculture and the cyberdeliccounterculture. In 1998, philosophers Nick Bostrom and David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), an international non-governmental organization working toward the recognition of transhumanism as a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and public policy.[29] In 2002, the WTA modified and adoptedThe Transhumanist Declaration.[30] The Transhumanist FAQ, prepared by the WTA, gave two formal definitions for transhumanism:[31]

  1. The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
  2. The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies.

In possible contrast with other transhumanist organizations, WTA officials considered that social forces could undermine their futurist visions and needed to be addressed.[3] A particular concern is the equal access to human enhancement technologies across classes and borders.[32] In 2006, a political struggle within the transhumanist movement between the libertarian right and the liberal left resulted in a more centre-leftward positioning of the WTA under its former executive directorJames Hughes.[32][33] In 2006, the board of directors of the Extropy Institute ceased operations of the organization, stating that its mission was “essentially completed”.[34] This left the World Transhumanist Association as the leading international transhumanist organization. In 2008, as part of a rebranding effort, the WTA changed its name to “Humanity+“.[35] In 2012, the transhumanist Longevity Party had been initiated as an international union of people who promote the development of scientific and technological means to significant life extension, that for now has more than 30 national organisations throughout the world.[36][37]

Transhumanist-themed blogs by Zoltan Istvan are in mainstream media on Psychology Today, Vice’s Motherboard, and The Huffington Post.[38][39][40] Istvan is the founder of the Transhumanist Party and is its 2016 US Presidential candidate.[41][42][43][44][45][46]

The first transhumanist elected member of a Parliament is Giuseppe Vatinno, in Italy.[47] In 2015, Vatinno became a member of the Board of Directors of Humanity+.[48]



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