The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism
by Franz Cumont
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The Oriental religions that successively gained popularity exercised a decisive influence on the transformation of Latin paganism. Asia Minor was the first to have its gods accepted by Italy. Since the end of the Punic wars the black stone symbolizing the Great Mother of Pessinus had been established on the Palatine, but only since the reign of Claudius could the Phrygian cult freely develop in all its splendor and excesses. It introduced a sensual, highly-colored and fanatical worship into the grave and somber religion of the Romans. Officially recognized, it attracted and took under its protection other foreign divinities from Anatolia and assimilated them to Cybele and Attis, who thereafter bore the symbols of several deities together. Cappadocian, Jewish, Persian and even Christian influences modified the old rites of Pessinus and filled them with ideas of spiritual purification and {198} eternal redemption by the bloody baptism of the taurobolium. But the priests did not succeed in eliminating the basis of coarse naturism which ancient barbaric tradition had imposed upon them.

Beginning with the second century before our era, the mysteries of Isis and Serapis spread over Italy with the Alexandrian culture whose religious expression they were, and in spite of all persecution established themselves at Rome where Caligula gave them the freedom of the city. They did not bring with them a very advanced theological system, because Egypt never produced anything but a chaotic aggregate of disparate doctrines, nor a very elevated ethics, because the level of its morality—that of the Alexandrian Greeks—rose but slowly from a low stage. But they made Italy, and later the other Latin provinces, familiar with an ancient ritual of incomparable charm that aroused widely different feelings with its splendid processions and liturgic dramas. They also gave their votaries positive assurance of a blissful immortality after death, when they would be united with Serapis and, participating body and soul in his divinity, would live in eternal contemplation of the gods.

At a somewhat later period arrived the numerous and varied Baals of Syria. The great economic movement starting at the beginning of our era which produced the colonization of the Latin world by Syrian slaves and merchants, not only modified the material civilization of Europe, but also its conceptions and beliefs. The Semitic cults entered into successful competition with those of Asia Minor and Egypt. They may not have had so stirring a liturgy, nor have been so thoroughly absorbed in preoccupation with a future {199} life, although they taught an original eschatology, but they did have an infinitely higher idea of divinity. The Chaldean astrology, of which the Syrian priests were enthusiastic disciples, had furnished them with the elements of a scientific theology. It had led them to the notion of a God residing far from the earth above the zone of the stars, a God almighty, universal and eternal. Everything on earth was determined by the revolutions of the heavens according to infinite cycles of years. It had taught them at the same time the worship of the sun, the radiant source of earthly life and human intelligence.

The learned doctrines of the Babylonians had also imposed themselves upon the Persian mysteries of Mithra which considered time identified with heaven as the supreme cause, and deified the stars; but they had superimposed themselves upon the ancient Mazdean creed without destroying it. Thus the essential principles of the religion of Iran, the secular and often successful rival of Greece, penetrated into the Occident under cover of Chaldean wisdom. The Mithra worship, the last and highest manifestation of ancient paganism, had Persian dualism for its fundamental dogma. The world is the scene and the stake of a contest between good and evil, Ormuzd and Ahriman, gods and demons, and from this primary conception of the universe flowed a strong and pure system of ethics. Life is a combat; soldiers under the command of Mithra, invincible heroes of the faith, must ceaselessly oppose the undertakings of the infernal powers which sow corruption broadcast. This imperative ethics was productive of energy and formed the characteristic {200} feature distinguishing Mithraism from all other Oriental cults.

Thus every one of the Levantine countries—and that is what we meant to show in this brief recapitulation—had enriched Roman paganism with new beliefs that were frequently destined to outlive it. What was the result of this confusion of heterogeneous doctrines whose multiplicity was extreme and whose values were very different? How did the barbaric ideas refine themselves and combine with each other when thrown into the fiery crucible of imperial syncretism? In other words, what shape was assumed by ancient idolatry, so impregnated with exotic theories during the fourth century, when it was finally dethroned? It is this point that we should like to indicate briefly as the conclusion to these studies.

However, can we speak of one pagan religion? Did not the blending of the races result in multiplying the variety of disagreements? Had not the confused collision of creeds produced a division into fragments, a communication of churches? Had not a complacent syncretism engendered a multiplication of sects? The "Hellenes," as Themistius told the Emperor Valens, had three hundred ways of conceiving and honoring deity, who takes pleasure in such diversity of homage.[1] In paganism a cult does not die violently, but after long decay. A new doctrine does not necessarily displace an older one. They may co-exist for a long time as contrary possibilities suggested by the intellect or faith, and all opinions, all practices, seem respectable to paganism. It never has any radical or revolutionary transformations. Undoubtedly, the pagan beliefs of the fourth century or earlier did not {201} have the consistency of a metaphysical system nor the rigor of canons formulated by a council. There is always a considerable difference between the faith of the masses and that of cultured minds, and this difference was bound to be great in an aristocratic empire whose social classes were sharply separated. The devotion of the masses was as unchanging as the depths of the sea; it was not stirred up nor heated by the upper currents.[2] The peasants practised their pious rites over anointed stones, sacred springs and blossoming trees, as in the past, and continued celebrating their rustic holidays during seed-time and harvest. They adhered with invincible tenacity to their traditional usages. Degraded and lowered to the rank of superstitions, these were destined to persist for centuries under the Christian orthodoxy without exposing it to serious peril, and while they were no longer marked in the liturgic calendars they were still mentioned occasionally in the collections of folk-lore.

At the other extreme of society the philosophers delighted in veiling religion with the frail and brilliant tissue of their speculations. Like the emperor Julian they improvised bold and incongruous interpretations of the myth of the Great Mother, and these interpretations were received and relished by a restricted circle of scholars. But during the fourth century these vagaries of the individual imagination were nothing but arbitrary applications of uncontested principles. During that century there was much less intellectual anarchy than when Lucian had exposed the sects "for sale at public auction"; a comparative harmony arose among the pagans after they joined the opposition. One single school, that of neo-Platonism, ruled all {202} minds. This school not only respected positive religion, as ancient stoicism had done, but venerated it, because it saw there the expression of an old revelation handed down by past generations. It considered the sacred books divinely inspired—the books of Hermes Trismegistus, Orpheus, the Chaldean oracles, Homer, and especially the esoteric doctrines of the mysteries—and subordinated its theories to their teachings. As there must be no contradiction between all the disparate traditions of different countries and different periods, because all have emanated from one divinity, philosophy, the ancilla theologiae, attempted to reconcile them by the aid of allegory. And thus, by means of compromises between old Oriental ideas and Greco-Latin thought, an ensemble of beliefs slowly took form, the truth of which seemed to have been established by common consent. So when the atrophied parts of the Roman religion had been removed, foreign elements had combined to give it a new vigor and in it themselves became modified. This hidden work of internal decomposition and reconstruction had unconsciously produced a religion very different from the one Augustus had attempted to restore.

However, we would be tempted to believe that there had been no change in the Roman faith, were we to read certain authors that fought idolatry in those days. Saint Augustine, for instance, in his City of God, pleasantly pokes fun at the multitude of Italian gods that presided over the paltriest acts of life.[3] But the useless, ridiculous deities of the old pontifical litanies no longer existed outside of the books of antiquaries. As a matter of fact, the Christian polemicist's authority in this instance was Varro. The defenders of the {203} church sought weapons against idolatry even in Xenophanes, the first philosopher to oppose Greek polytheism. It has frequently been shown that apologists find it difficult to follow the progress of the doctrines which they oppose, and often their blows fall upon dead men. Moreover, it is a fault common to all scholars, to all imbued with book learning, that they are better acquainted with the opinions of ancient authors than with the sentiments of their contemporaries, and that they prefer to live in the past rather than in the world surrounding them. It was easier to reproduce the objections of the Epicureans and the skeptics against abolished beliefs, than to study the defects of an active organism with a view to criticizing it. In those times the merely formal culture of the schools caused many of the best minds to lose their sense of reality.

The Christian polemics therefore frequently give us an inadequate idea of paganism in its decline. When they complacently insisted upon the immorality of the sacred legends they ignored the fact that the gods and heroes of mythology had no longer any but a purely literary existence.[4] The writers of that period, like those of the Renaissance, regarded the fictions of mythology as details necessary to poetical composition. They were ornaments of style, rhetorical devices, but not the expression of a sincere faith. Those old myths had fallen to the lowest degree of disrepute in the theater. The actors of mimes ridiculing Jupiter's gallant adventures did not believe in their reality any more than the author of Faust believed in the compact with Mephistopheles.

So we must not be deceived by the oratorical effects {204} of a rhetorician like Arnobius or by the Ciceronian periods of a Lactantius. In order to ascertain the real status of the beliefs we must refer to Christian authors who were men of letters less than they were men of action, who lived the life of the people and breathed the air of the streets, and who spoke from experience rather than from the treatises of mythmongers. They were high functionaries like Prudentius;[5] like the man to whom the name "Ambrosiaster"[6] has been given since the time of Erasmus; like the converted pagan Firmicus Maternus,[7] who had written a treatise on astrology before opposing "The Error of the Profane Religions"; like certain priests brought into contact with the last adherents of idolatry through their pastoral duties, as for instance the author of the homilies ascribed to St. Maximus of Turin;[8] finally like the writers of anonymous pamphlets, works prepared for the particular occasion and breathing the ardor of all the passions of the movement.[9] If this inquiry is based on the obscure indications in regard to their religious convictions left by members of the Roman aristocracy who remained true to the faith of their ancestors, like Macrobius or Symmachus; if it is particularly guided by the exceptionally numerous inscriptions that seem to be the public expression of the last will of expiring paganism, we shall be able to gain a sufficiently precise idea of the condition of the Roman religion at the time of its extinction.

One fact becomes immediately clear from an examination of those documents. The old national religion of Rome was dead.[10] The great dignitaries still adorned themselves with the titles of augur and quindecimvir, or of consul and tribune, but those {205} archaic prelacies were as devoid of all real influence upon religion as the republican magistracies were powerless in the state. Their fall had been made complete on the day when Aurelian established the pontiffs of the Invincible Sun, the protector of his empire, beside and above the ancient high priests. The only cults still alive were those of the Orient, and against them were directed the efforts of the Christian polemics, who grew more and more bitter in speaking of them. The barbarian gods had taken the place of the defunct immortals in the devotion of the pagans. They alone still had empire over the soul.

With all the other "profane religions," Firmicus Maternus fought those of the four Oriental nations. He connected them with the four elements. The Egyptians were the worshipers of water—the water of the Nile fertilizing their country; the Phrygians of the earth, which was to them the Great Mother of everything; the Syrians and Carthaginians of the air, which they adored under the name of celestial Juno;[11] the Persians of fire, to which they attributed preeminence over the other three principles. This system certainly was borrowed from the pagan theologians. In the common peril threatening them, those cults, formerly rivals, had become reconciled and regarded themselves as divisions and, so to speak, congregations, of the same church. Each one of them was especially consecrated to one of the elements which in combination form the universe. Their union constituted the pantheistic religion of the deified world.

All the Oriental religions assumed the form of mysteries.[12] Their dignitaries were at the same time pontiffs of the Invincible Sun, fathers of Mithra, {206} celebrants of the taurobolium of the Great Mother, prophets of Isis; in short, they had all titles imaginable. In their initiation they received the revelation of an esoteric doctrine strengthened by their fervor.[13] What was the theology they learned? Here also a certain dogmatic homogeneity has established itself.

All writers agree with Firmicus that the pagans worshiped the elementa.[14] Under this term were included not only the four simple substances which by their opposition and blending caused all phenomena of the visible world,[15] but also the stars and in general the elements of all celestial and earthly bodies.[16]

We therefore may in a certain sense speak of the return of paganism to nature worship; but must this transformation be regarded as a retrogression toward a barbarous past, as a relapse to the level of primitive animism? If so, we should be deceived by appearances. Religions do not fall back into infancy as they grow old. The pagans of the fourth century no longer naively considered their gods as capricious genii, as the disordered powers of a confused natural philosophy; they conceived them as cosmic energies whose providential action was regulated in a harmonious system. Faith was no longer instinctive and impulsive, for erudition and reflection had reconstructed the entire theology. In a certain sense it might be said that theology had passed from the fictitious to the metaphysical state, according to the formula of Comte. It was intimately connected with the knowledge of the day, which was cherished by its last votaries with love and pride, as faithful heirs of the ancient wisdom of the Orient and Greece.[17] In many instances it was nothing but a religious form of the cosmology of the {207} period. This constituted both its strength and its weakness. The rigorous principles of astrology determined its conception of heaven and earth.

The universe was an organism animated by a God, unique, eternal and almighty. Sometimes this God was identified with the destiny that ruled all things, with infinite time that regulated all visible phenomena, and he was worshiped in each subdivision of that endless duration, especially in the months and the seasons.[18] Sometimes, however, he was compared with a king; he was thought of as a sovereign governing an empire, and the various gods then were the princes and dignitaries interceding with the rulers on behalf of his subjects whom they led in some manner into his presence. This heavenly court had its messengers or "angels" conveying to men the will of the master and reporting again the vows and petitions of his subjects. It was an aristocratic monarchy in heaven as on earth.[19] A more philosophic conception made the divinity an infinite power impregnating all nature with its overflowing forces. "There is only one God, sole and supreme," wrote Maximus of Madaura about 390, "without beginning or parentage, whose energies, diffused through the world, we invoke under various names, because we are ignorant of his real name. By successively addressing our supplications to his different members we intend to honor him in his entirety. Through the mediation of the subordinate gods the common father both of themselves and of all men is honored in a thousand different ways by mortals who are thus in accord in spite of their discord."[20]

However, this ineffable God, who comprehensively embraces everything, manifests himself especially in {208} the resplendent brightness of the ethereal sky.[21] He reveals his power in water and in fire, in the earth, the sea and the blowing of the winds; but his purest, most radiant and most active epiphany is in the stars whose revolutions determine every event and all our actions. Above all he manifests himself in the sun, the motive power of the celestial spheres, the inexhaustible seat of light and life, the creator of all intelligence on earth. Certain philosophers like the senator Praetextatus, one of the dramatis personae of Macrobius, confounded all the ancient divinities of paganism with the sun in a thorough-going syncretism.[22]

Just as a superficial observation might lead to the belief that the theology of the last pagans had reverted to its origin, so at first sight the transformation of the ritual might appear like a return to savagery. With the adoption of the Oriental mysteries barbarous, cruel and obscene practices were undoubtedly spread, as for instance the masquerading in the guise of animals in the Mithraic initiations, the bloody dances of the galli of the Great Mother and the mutilations of the Syrian priests. Nature worship was originally as "amoral" as nature itself. But an ethereal spiritualism ideally transfigured the coarseness of those primitive customs. Just as the doctrine had become completely impregnated with philosophy and erudition, so the liturgy had become saturated with ethical ideas.

The taurobolium, a disgusting shower-bath of lukewarm blood, had become a means of obtaining a new and eternal life; the ritualistic ablutions were no longer external and material acts, but were supposed to cleanse the soul of its impurities and to restore its original innocence; the sacred repasts {209} imparted an intimate virtue to the soul and furnished sustenance to the spiritual life. While efforts were made to maintain the continuity of tradition, its content had slowly been transformed. The most shocking and licentious fables were metamorphosed into edifying narratives by convenient and subtle interpretations which were a joy to the learned mythographers. Paganism had become a school of morality, the priest a doctor and director of the conscience.[23]

The purity and holiness imparted by the practice of sacred ceremonies were the indispensable condition for obtaining eternal life.[24] The mysteries promised a blessed immortality to their initiates, and claimed to reveal to them infallible means of effecting their salvation. According to a generally accepted symbol, the spirit animating man was a spark, detached from the fires shining in the ether; it partook of their divinity and so, it was believed, had descended to the earth to undergo a trial. It could literally be said that

"Man is a fallen god who still remembers heaven."

After having left their corporeal prisons, the pious souls reascended towards the celestial regions of the divine stars, to live forever in endless brightness beyond the starry spheres.[25]

But at the other extremity of the world, facing this luminous realm, extended the somber kingdom of evil spirits. They were irreconcilable adversaries of the gods and men of good will, and constantly left the infernal regions to roam about the earth and scatter evil. With the aid of the celestial spirits, the faithful had to struggle forever against their designs and seek to avert their anger by means of bloody sacrifices. {210} But, with the help of occult and terrible processes, the magician could subject them to his power and compel them to serve his purposes. This demonology, the monstrous offspring of Persian dualism, favored the rise of every superstition.[26]

However, the reign of the evil powers was not to last forever. According to common opinion the universe would be destroyed by fire[27] after the times had been fulfilled. All the wicked would perish, but the just would be revived and establish the reign of universal happiness in the regenerated world.[28]

The foregoing is a rapid sketch of the theology of paganism after three centuries of Oriental influence. From coarse fetichism and savage superstitions the learned priests of the Asiatic cults had gradually produced a complete system of metaphysics and eschatology, as the Brahmins built up the spiritualistic monism of the Vedanta beside the monstrous idolatry of Hinduism, or, to confine our comparisons to the Latin world, as the jurists drew from the traditional customs of primitive tribes the abstract principles of a legal system that governs the most cultivated societies. This religion was no longer like that of ancient Rome, a mere collection of propitiatory and expiatory rites performed by the citizen for the good of the state; it now pretended to offer to all men a world-conception which gave rise to a rule of conduct and placed the end of existence in the future life. It was more unlike the worship that Augustus had attempted to restore than the Christianity that fought it. The two opposed creeds moved in the same intellectual and moral sphere,[29] and one could actually pass from one to the other without shock or interruption. Sometimes when {211} reading the long works of the last Latin writers, like Ammianus Marcellinus or Boethius, or the panegyrics of the official orators,[30] scholars could well ask whether their authors were pagan or Christian. In the time of Symmachus and Praetextatus, the members of the Roman aristocracy who had remained faithful to the gods of their ancestors did not have a mentality or morality very different from that of adherents of the new faith who sat with them in the senate. The religious and mystical spirit of the Orient had slowly overcome the whole social organism and had prepared all nations to unite in the bosom of a universal church.

* * * * *




1 We are indebted for more than one useful suggestion to our colleagues Messrs. Charles Michel and Joseph Bidez, who were kind enough to read the proofs of the French edition.

2 An outline of the present state of the subject will be found in a recent volume by Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie, 1906, pp. 1606 ff., whose views are sharply opposed to the negative conclusions formulated, with certain reservations, by Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christentums, II, pp. 274 ff. Among the latest studies intended for the general reader that have appeared on this subject, may be mentioned in Germany those of Geffcken (Aus der Werdezeit des Christentums, Leipsic, 1904, pp. 114 ff.), and in England those of Cheyne (Bible Problems, 1904), who expresses his opinion in these terms: "The Christian religion is a synthesis, and only those who have dim eyes can assert that the intellectual empires of Babylonia and Persia have fallen."—Very useful is the new book of Clemen, Religionsgeschichtliche Erklaerung des Neuen Testaments, Giessen, 1909.

3 Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 342, n. 4; see the new texts commented on by Usener, Rhein. Museum, LX, 1905, pp. 466 ff.; 489 ff., and my paper "Natalis Invicti," C. R. Acad. des inscr., 1911.

4 See page 70. Compare also Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 341. The imitation of the church is plain in the pagan reform attempted by the emperor Julian.

5 See Harnack, Militia Christi, 1905.

6 I have collected a number of texts on the religious "militias" in Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 317, n. 1. Others could certainly be discovered: Apuleius, Metam., XI, 14: E cohorte {214} religionis unus (in connection with a mystic of Isis);—Vettius Valens (V, 2, p. 220, 27, Kroll ed.): [Greek: Stratiotai tes heimarmenes]; (VII, 3, p. 271, 28) [Greek: Sustrateuesthai tois kairois gennaios]. See Minucius Felix, 36, Sec. 7: Quod patimur non est poena, militia est.—We might also mention the commonplace term militia Veneris, which was popular with the Augustan poets (Propertius, IV, 1, 137; see I, 6, 30; Horace, Od., III, 26, and especially the parallel developed by Ovid, Amor., I, 9, 1 ff., and Ars amat., III, 233 ff.)—Socrates, in Plato's Apologia (p. 28 E), incidentally likens the philosophic mission imposed on him by the divinity to the campaigns he waged under the orders of the archons, but the comparison of God with a "strategus" was developed especially by the Stoics; see Capelle, "Schrift von der Welt," Neue Jahrb. fuer das klass. Altert., XV, 1905, p. 558, n. 6, and Seneca, Epist., 107, 9: Optimum est Deum sine murmuratione comitari, malus miles est qui imperatorem gemens sequitur.—See now also Reitzenstein, Hellenistische Mysterienreligion, 1910, p. 66.

7 See Rev. des etudes grecques, XIV, 1901, pp. 43 ff.

8 This has been clearly shown by Wendland in connection with the idea of the [Greek: soteria], Zeitschrift fuer neutest. Wiss., V, 1904, pp. 355 ff. More recently he has thrown light on the general influence of Hellenistic civilization on Christianity (Die hellenistisch-roemische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zum Judentum und Christentum, Tuebingen, 1908). A first attempt to determine the character of Hellenistic mysteries is to be found in Reitzenstein's Hellenistische Mysterienreligion, 1910.


1 Renan, L'Antechrist, p. 130.

2 M. Krumbacher (Byzant. Zeitschr., XVI, 1907, p. 710) notes, in connection with the idea that I am defending here: "In aehnlicher Weise war dieser Gedanke (der Ueberfluegelung des Abendlandes durch die auf allen Kulturgebieten vordringende Regsamkeit der Orientalen) kurz vorher in meiner Skizze der byzantinischen Literatur (Kultur der Gegenwart, I, 8 [1907], pp. 246-253) auseinandergelegt worden; es ist ein erfreulicher und bei dem Wirrsal widerstreitender Doctrinen troestlicher Beweis fuer den Fortschritt der Erkenntniss, dass {215} zwei von ganz verschiedenen Richtungen ausgehende Diener der Wissenschaft sich in so wichtigen allgemeinen Fragen so nahe kommen."

3. Cf. Kornemann, "Aegyptische Einfluesse im roemischen Kaiserreich" (Neue Jahrb. fuer das klass. Altertum, II, 1898, p. 118 ff.) and Otto Hirschfeld, Die kaiserl. Verwaltungsbeamten, 2d. ed., p. 469.

4. See Cicero's statement regarding the ancient Roman dominion (De off., II, 8): "Illud patrocinium orbis terrae verius quam imperium poterat nominari."

5. O. Hirschfeld, op. cit., pp. 53, 91, 93, etc.; cf. Mitteis, Reichsrecht und Volksrecht, p. 9, n. 2, etc. Thus have various institutions been transmitted from the ancient Persians to the Romans; see Ch. VI, n. 5.

6. Rostovtzew, "Der Ursprung des Kolonats" (Beitraege zur alten Gesch., I, 1901, p. 295); Haussoullier, Histoire de Milet et du Didymeion, 1902, p. 106.

7. Mitteis, Reichsrecht und Volksrecht in den oestlichen Provinzen, 1891, pp. 8 ff.

8. Mommsen, Gesammelte Schriften, II, 1905, p. 366: "Seit Diocletian uebernimmt der oestliche Reichsteil, die partes Orientis, auf allen Gebieten die Fuehrung. Dieser spaete Sieg des Hellenismus ueber die Lateiner ist vielleicht nirgends auffaelliger als auf dem Gebiet der juristischen Schriftstellerei."

9. De Voguee and Duthoit, L'Architecture civile et religieuse de la Syrie centrale, Paris, 1866-1877.

10. This result is especially due to the researches of M. Strzygowski, but we cannot enter here into the controversies aroused by his publications: Orient oder Rom, 1911; Hellas in des Orients Umarmung, Munich, 1902, and especially Kleinasien, ein Neuland der Kunstgeschichte, Leipsic, 1903; [cf. the reports of Ch. Diehl, Journal des Savants, 1904, pp. 236 ff. = Etudes byzantines, 1905, pp. 336 ff.; Gabriel Millet, Revue archeolog., 1905, I, pp. 93 ff.; Marcel Laurent, Revue de l'Instr. publ. en Belgique, 1905, pp. 145 ff.]; Mschatta, 1904, [cf. infra, Ch. VI, n. 12].—M. Brehier, "Orient ou Byzance?" (Rev. archeol., 1907, II, pp. 396 ff.), gives a substantial summary of the question.—In his last volume, Amida (1910), M. {216} Strzygowski tries to find the source of medieval art in Mesopotamia. For this controversy see Diehl's Manuel d'art byzantin, 1910.

11. See also Pliny, Epist. Traian., 40: "Architecti tibi [in Bithynia] deesse non possunt ... cum ex Graecia etiam ad nos [at Rome] venire soliti sint."—Among the names of architects mentioned in Latin inscriptions there are a great many revealing Greek or Oriental origin (see Ruggiero, Dizion. epigr., s. v. "Architectus"), in spite of the consideration which their eminently useful profession always enjoyed at Rome.

12. The question of the artistic and industrial influences exercised by the Orient over Gaul during the Roman period, has been broached frequently—among others by Courajod (Lecons du Louvre, I, 1899, pp. 115, 327 ff.)—but it has never been seriously studied in its entirety. Michaelis has recently devoted a suggestive article to this subject in connection with a statue from the museum of Metz executed in the style of the school of Pergamum (Jahrb. der Gesellsch. fuer lothring. Geschichte, XVII, 1905, pp. 203 ff.). By the influence of Marseilles in Gaul, and the ancient connection of that city with the towns of Hellenic Asia, he explains the great difference between the works of sculpture discovered along the upper Rhine, which had been civilized by the Italian legions, and those unearthed on the other side of the Vosges. This is a very important discovery, rich in results. We believe, however, that Michaelis ascribes too much importance to the early Marseilles traders traveling along the old "tin road" towards Brittany and the "amber road" towards Germany. The Asiatic merchants and artisans did not set out from one point only. There were many emigrants all over the valley of the Rhone. Lyons was a half-Hellenized city, and the relations of Arles with Syria, of Nimes with Egypt, etc., are well known. We shall speak of them in connection with the religions of those countries.

13. Even in the bosom of the church the Latin Occident of the fourth century was still subordinate to the Greek Orient, which imposed its doctrinal problems upon it (Harnack, Mission und Ausbreitung, II, p. 283, n. 1).

14. The sacred formulas have been collected by Alb. Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, pp. 212 ff. He adds [Greek: Doie soi Osiris to psuchron hudor], {217} Archiv fuer Religionswiss., VII, 1905, p. 504, n. 1. [Cf. infra, ch. IV, n. 90.] Among the hymns of greatest importance for the Oriental cults we must cite those in honor of Isis, discovered in the island of Andros (Kaibel, Epigr., 4028) and elsewhere (see ch. IV, n. 6). Fragments of hymns in honor of Attis have been preserved by Hippolytus (Philosoph., V, 9. pp. 168 ff.) The so-called orphic hymns (Abel, Orphica, 1883), which date back to a rather remote period, do not seem to contain many Oriental elements (see Maas, Orpheus, 1893, pp. 173 ff.), but this does not apply to the gnostic hymns of which we possess very instructive fragments.—Cf. Mon. myst. de Mithra, I, p. 313, n. 1.

15. Regarding the imitations of the stage, see Adami, De poetis scen. Graecis hymnorum sacrorum imitatoribus, 1901. Wuensch has shown the liturgic character of a prayer to Asklepios, inserted by Herondas into his mimiambi (Archiv fuer Religionswiss., VII, 1904, pp. 95 ff.) Dieterich believes he has found an extensive extract from the Mithraic liturgy in a magic papyrus of Paris (see infra, ch. VI, Bibliography). But all these discoveries amount to very little if we think of the enormous number of liturgic texts that have been lost, and even in the case of ancient Greece we know little regarding this sacred literature. See Ausfeld, De Graecorum precationibus, Leipsic, 1903; Ziegler, De precationum apud Graecos formis quaestiones selectae, Breslau, 1905; H. Schmidt, Veteres philosophi quomodo iudicaverint de precibus, Giessen, 1907.

16. For instance, the hymn "which the magi sung" about the steeds of the supreme god; its contents are given by Dion Chrysostom, Oral., XXXVI, 39 (see Mon. myst. Mithra, I. p. 298; II, p. 60).

17. I have in mind the hymns of Cleanthes (Von Arnim, Stoic. fragm., I, Nos. 527, 537), also Demetrius's act of renunciation in Seneca, De Provid., V, 5, which bears a surprising resemblance to one of the most famous Christian prayers, the Suscipe of Saint Ignatius which concludes the book of Spiritual Exercises (Delehaye, Les legendes hagiographiques, 1905, p. 170, n. 1).—In this connection we ought to mention the prayer translated in the Asclepius, the Greek text {218} of which has recently been found on a papyrus (Reitzenstein, Archiv fuer Religionswiss., VII, 1904, p. 395). On pagan prayers introduced into the Christian liturgy see Reitzenstein and Wendland, Nachrichten Ges. Wiss., Goettingen, 1910, pp. 325 ff.

18. This point has been studied more in detail in our Monuments relatifs aux mysteres de Mithra, from which we have taken parts of the following observations (I, pp. 21 ff.).

19. Lucian's authorship of the treatise [Greek: Peri tes Suries theou] has been questioned but wrongly; see Maurice Croiset, Essai sur Lucien, 1882, pp. 63, 204. I am glad to be able to cite the high authority of Noeldeke in favor of its authenticity. Noeldeke writes me on this subject: "Ich habe jeden Zweifel daran schon lange aufgegeben.... Ich habe lange den Plan gehabt, einen Commentar zu diesem immerhin recht lehrreichen Stueck zu schreiben and viel Material dazu gesammelt. Aus der Annahme der Echtheit dieser Schrift ergiebt sich mir, dass auch das [Greek: Peri astronomias] echt ist."

20. Cf. Frisch, De compositione libri Plutarchei qui inscribitur, [Greek: Peri Isidos], Leipsic, 1906, and the observations of Neustadt, Berl. Philol. Wochenschr., 1907, p. 1117.—One of Plutarch's sources is the [Greek: Ioudaika] by Apion.—See also Scott Moncrieft, Journ. of Hell. Studies, XIX, 1909, p. 81.

21. See ch. VII, pp. 202-203.

22. Cf. Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 75, p. 219.—For Egypt see Georges Foucart, "L'art et la religion dans l'ancienne Egypte," Revue des idees, Nov. 15, 1908.

23. The narrative and symbolic sculpture of the Oriental cults was a preparation for that of the Middle Ages, and many remarks in Male's beautiful book L'Art du XIII^e siecle en France, can be applied to the art of dying paganism.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Boissier, La religion romaine d'Auguste aux Antonins, especially Bk. II, ch. II.—Jean Reville, La religion a Rome sous les Severes, Paris, 1886.—Wissowa, Religion und Cultus der Roemer, Munich, 1902, pp. 71 ff., 289 ff.—Samuel Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, London, 1905.—Bigg, The Church's Task Under the Roman Empire, {219} Oxford, 1905.—Cf. also Gruppe, Griech. Mythologie und Religionsgeschichte, 1906, pp. 1519 ff.—Wendland, Die hellenistisch-roemische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zum Judentum und zum Christentum, Tuebingen, 1907, pp. 54 f.—The monographs will be cited in connection with the different cults which they treat.

1. Melanges Fredericq, Brussels, 1904, pp. 63 ff. (Pourquoi le latin fut la seule langue liturgique de l'Occident); cf. the observations of Lejay, Rev. d'hist. et litt. relig., XI, 1906, p. 370.

2. Holl, Volkssprache in Kleinasien (Hermes, 1908, pp. 250 ff.).

3. The volume of Hahn, Rom und Romanismus im griechisch-roemischen Osten bis auf die Zeit Hadrians (Leipsic, 1906) discusses a period for the most part prior to the one that interests us. On the period following we have nothing but a provisional sketch by the same author, Romanismus und Hellenismus bis auf die Zeit Justinians (Philologus, Suppl. X), 1907.

4. Cf. Tacitus, Annales, XIV, 44: "Nationes in familiis habemus quibus diversi ritus, externa sacra aut nulla sunt."

5. S. Reinach, Epona (Extr. Rev. archeol.). 1895.

6. The theory of the degeneration of races has been set forth in particular by Stewart Chamberlain, Die Grundlagen des XIX. Jahrhunderts, 3d. ed., Munich, 1901, pp. 296 ff.—The idea of selection by retrogression, of the Ausrottung der Besten, has been defended, as is well known, by Seeck in his Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt, which outlines the religious consequence (II, p. 344). His system is developed in the third volume which appeared in 1909.

7. Apuleius, Metam., XI, 14 ff. See Preface. Manilius said of the divine stars (IV, 910; cf. II, 125),

"Ipse vocat nostros animos ad sidera mundus."

8. Hepding, Attis, pp. 178 ff., 187.

9. The intimate connection between the juridical and religious ideas of the Romans has left numerous traces even in their language. One of the most curious is the double meaning of the term supplicium, which stands at the same time for a supplication addressed to the gods and a punishment {220} demanded by custom, and later by law. In regard to the development of this twofold meaning, see the recent note by Richard Heinze, Archiv fuer lateinische Lexicographie, XV, pp. 90 ff. Sematology is often synonymous with the study of customs.

10 Reville, op. cit., p. 144.

11 On ecstasy in the mysteries in general, cf. Rohde, Psyche, 2d ed., pp. 315-319; in the Oriental religions cf. De Jong, De Apuleio Isiacorum mysteriorum teste, 1900, p. 100; De Jong, Das antike Mysterienwesen, Leyden, 1909. Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 323.

12 Firmicus Maternus mentioned this in De errore prof. relig., c. 8.

13 For Babylonia, cf. Strab., XVI, 1, Sec. 6, and infra, ch. V, n. 51; for Egypt, id., XVII, 21, Sec. 46. From the very interesting account Otto has written of the science of the Egyptian priests during the Hellenistic period (Priester und Tempel, II, pp. 211 ff.; 234), it appears that it remained quite worthy of consideration although progress had ceased.

14 Strabo, loc. cit.: [Greek: Anatitheasi de toi Hermei pasan ten toiauten sophian]; Pliny, Hist. nat., VI, 26, Sec. 121: "(Belus) inventor fuit sideralis scientiae"; cf. Solinus, 56, Sec. 3; Achilles, Isag., 1 (Maass, Comm. in Arat., p. 27): [Greek: Beloi ten heuresin anathentes]. Let us remember that Hammurabi's code was represented as the work of Marduk.—In a general way, the gods are the authors of all inventions useful to humanity; cf. Reitzenstein, Poimandres, 1904, p. 123; Deissmann, Licht von Osten, 91 ff. Likewise in the Occident: CIL, VII, 759 = Buecheler, Carm. epigr., 24: "(Dea Syria) ex quis muneribus nosse contigit deos," etc., cf. Plut., Crass., 17.—"Religion im Sinne des Orients ist die Erklaerung alles dessen was ist, also eine Weltauffassung" (Winckler, Himmelsbild der Babylonier, 1903, p. 9).

15 Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 312.—Manicheism likewise brought a complete cosmological system from Babylonia. Saint Augustine criticizes the book of that sect for containing long dissertations and absurd stories about matters that have nothing at all to do with salvation; see my Recherches sur le manicheisme, 1908, p. 53.

16 Cf. Porphyry, Epist. Aneb., 11; Jambl., De myst., II, 11. {221}

17 This upright character of the Roman religion has been thoroughly expounded by G. Boissier (op. cit., I, 30 ff, 373 ff). See also the remarks by Bailey, Religion of Ancient Rome, London, 1907, pp. 103 ff.

18 Varro in Augustine De civ. Dei, IV, 27; VI, 5; cf. Varro, Antiq. rerum divin., ed. Aghad, pp. 145 ff. The same distinction between the religion of the poets, of the legislators and of the philosophers has been made by Plutarch, Amatorius, 18, p. 763 C. The author of this division is Posidonius of Apamea. See Diels, Doxographi Graeci, p. 295, 10, and Wendland, Archiv fuer Gesch. der Philos., I, pp. 200 ff.

19 Luterbacher, Der Prodigienglaube der Roemer, Burgdorf, 1904.

20 Juvenal, II, 149; cf. Diodorus, I, 93, Sec. 3. Cf. Plutarch also in speaking of future punishment (Non posse suaviter vivi, c. 26, p. 1104 C-E: Quo modo poetas aud., c. 2, p. 17 C-E; Consol. ad Apollon., c. 10, p. 106 F), "nous laisse entendre que pour la plupart de ses contemporains ce sont la des contes de nourrice qui ne peuvent effrayer que des enfants" (Decharme, Traditions religieuses chez les Grecs, 1904, p. 442).

21 Aug., Civ. Dei, VI, 2; Varro, Antiqu., ed. Aghad, 141; "Se timere ne (dii) pereant non incursu hostili sed civium neglegentia."

22 I have developed this point in my Mon. myst. Mithra, I, pp. 279 ff.

23 In Greece the Oriental cults expanded much less than in any other religion, because the Hellenic mysteries, especially those of Eleusis, taught similar doctrines and satisfied the religious needs.

24 The development of the "ritual of purification" has been broadly expounded in its entirety, by Farnell in The Evolution of Religion, 1905, pp. 88 ff.

25 We shall mention this subject again when speaking of the taurobolium in ch. III, pp. 67 ff.

26 We cannot dwell here upon the various forms assumed by that purifying rite of the Oriental mysteries. Often these forms remained quite primitive, and the idea that inspired them is still clear, as where Juvenal (VI, 521 f.) pictures the {222} worshiper of the Magna Mater divesting himself of his beautiful garments and giving them to the archigallus to wipe out all the misdeeds of the year (ut totum semel expiet annum). The idea of a mechanical transfer of the pollution by relinquishing the clothes is frequent among savages; see Farnell, op. cit., p. 117; also Frazer, Golden Bough, I^2, p. 60.

27 Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, pp. 157 ff.; Hepding, Attis, pp. 194 ff.—Cf. Frazer, Golden Bough, III^2 pp. 424 ff.

28 Cf. Augustine Civit. Dei, X, 28: "Confiteris tamen (sc. Porphyrius) etiam spiritalem animam sine theurgicis artibus et sine teletis quibus frustra discendis elaborasti, posse continentiae virtute purgari," cf. ibid., X, 23 and infra, ch. VIII, n. 24.

29 Here we can only touch upon a subject of very great interest. Porphyry's treatise De abstinentia offers a fuller treatment than is often possible in this kind of studies.—See Farnell, op. cit., pp. 154 ff.

30 On [Greek: exomologesis] in the religions of Asia Minor, cf. Ramsay, Cities, I, p. 134, p. 152, and Chapot, La province romaine d'Asie, 1904, pp. 509 ff. See also Crusius, "Paroemiographica," Sitzungsb. Bayr. Akad., 1910, p. 111.

31 Menander in Porphyry De abstin., II, 15; cf. Plutarch, De Superstit., 7, p. 168 D.; Tertullian, De Paenit., c. 9.—Regarding the sacred fishes of Atargatis, see infra, ch. V.—In Apuleius (Met. VIII, 28) the gallus of the goddess loudly accuses himself of his crime and punishes himself by flagellation. See Gruppe, Griech. Myth., p. 1545; Farnell, Evol. of Religion, p. 55.—As a matter of fact, the confession of sin is an old religious tradition dating back to the Babylonians; cf. Lagrange, Religions semit., p. 225 ff. Schrank, Babylonische Suehnriten, 1909, p. 46.

32 Juvenal, VI, 523 ff., 537 ff.; cf. Seneca, Vit. beat., XXVI, 8.

33 On liturgic feasts in the religion of Cybele: infra, ch. II; in the mysteries of Mithra: Mon. myst. Mithra, I. p. 320; in the Syrian cults: ch. V, n. 37. See in general, Hepding, Attis, pp. 185 ff.

34 We know according to Herbert Spencer that the {223} progressive differentiation of the ecclesiastic and lay functions is one of the characteristics of religious evolution. In this regard Rome was far behind the Orient.

35 An essential result of the researches of Otto (op. cit.) is the proof of the opposition existing in Egypt since the Ptolemies between the hierarchic organization of the Egyptian clergy and the almost anarchical autonomy of the Greek priests. See our remarks on the clergy of Isis and the Galli. On the Mithraic hierarchy see our Mysteries of Mithra, Chicago, 1903, p. 165.

36 The development of the conceptions of "salvation" and "saviour" after the Hellenistic period has been studied by Wendland, [Greek: Soter] (Zeitschrift fuer neutestam. Wissensch., V, 1904, pp. 335 ff.). See also Lietzmann, Der Weltheiland, Bonn, 1909. W. Otto, "Augustus [Greek: Soter]," Hermes, XLV, 1910, pp. 448 ff.

37 Later on we shall expound the two principal doctrines, that of the Egyptian religions (identification with Osiris, god of the dead), and that of the Syrian and Persian religions (ascension into heaven).

38 At that time man's fate after death was the one great interest. An interesting example of the power of this idea is furnished by Arnobius. He became converted to Christianity because, according to his peculiar psychology, he feared that his soul might die, and believed that Christ alone could protect him against final annihilation (cf. Bardenhewer, Gesch. der altkirchlichen Literatur, II, 1903, p. 470.)

39 Lucretius had expressed this conviction (II, 1170 ff.). It spread to the end of the empire as disasters multiplied; cf. Rev. de philologie, 1897, p. 152.

40 Boissier, Rel. rom., I^3, p. 359; Friedlaender, Sittengesch., I^6, pp. 500 ff.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jean Reville, La religion a Rome sous les Severes, pp. 62 ff.—Drexler in Roscher, Lexikon der Mythol., s. v. "Meter," II, 2932.—Wissowa, Religion und Cultus der Roemer, pp. 263 ff., where the earlier bibliography will be found, {224} p. 271.—Showerman, "The Great Mother of the Gods" (Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin, No. 43), Madison, 1901.—Hepding, Attis, seine Mythen und sein Kult, Giessen, 1903.—Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, London, 1905, pp. 547 ff.—Gruppe, Griech. Mythologie, 1906, pp. 1521 ff. Eisele, "Die phrygischen Kulte," Neue Jahrb. fuer das klass. Altertum, XXIII, 1909, pp. 620 ff.

For a number of years Henri Graillot has been collecting the monuments of the religion of Cybele with a view to publishing them in their entirety.—Numerous remarks on the Phrygian religion will be found in the works and articles of Ramsay, especially in Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 1895, and Studies in the Eastern Roman Provinces, 1906.

1. Arrien, fr. 30 (FGH, III, p. 592). Cf. our Studio Pontica, 1905, pp. 172 ff., and Statius, Achill., II, 345: "Phrygas lucos ... vetitasque solo, procumbere pinus"; Virg., Aen., IX, 85.

2. Lion; cf. S. Reinach, Mythes, cultes, I, p. 293. The lion, represented in Asia Minor at a very remote period as devouring a bull or other animals, might possibly represent the sacred animal of Lydia or Phrygia vanquishing the protecting totem of the tribes of Cappadocia or the neighboring countries (I am using the term totem in its broadest meaning). This at least is the interpretation given to similar groups in Egypt. Cf. Foucart, La methode comparat. et l'histoire des religions, 1909, p. 49, p. 70.

3. [Greek: Potnia theron]. On this title, cf. Radet, Revue des etudes anciennes, X, 1908, pp. 110 ff. The most ancient type of the goddess, a winged figure leading lions, is known from monuments dating back to the period of the Mermnadi (687-546 B. C.).

4. Cf. Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, I, p. 7, p. 94.

5. Foucart, Le culte de Dionysos en Attique (Extract from the Mem. Acad. Inscr., XXXVII), 1904, pp. 22 ff.—The Thracians also seem to have spread, in Asia Minor, the cult of the "riding god" which existed until the beginning of the Roman period; cf. Remy, Le Musee belge, XI, 1907, pp. 136 ff.

6. Catullus, LXIII. {225}

7. The development of these mysteries has been well expounded by Hepding, pp. 177 ff. (see Gruppe, Gr. Myth., p. 1544).—Ramsay has recently commented upon inscriptions of Phrygian mystics, united by the knowledge of certain secret signs ([Greek: tekmor]); cf. Studies in the Eastern Roman Provinces, 1906, pp. 346 ff.

8. Dig., XLVIII, 8, 4, 2: "Nemo liberum servumve invitum sinentemve castrare debet." Cf. Mommsen, Strafrecht, p. 637.

9. Diodorus, XXXVI, 6; cf. Plutarch, Marius, 17.

10. Cf. Hepding, op. cit., p. 142.

11. Cf. chap. VI.

12. Wissowa, op. cit., p. 291.

13. Hepding, op. cit., pp. 145 ff. Cf. Pauly-Wissowa, Realenc., s. v. "Dendrophori," V, col. 216 and Suppl., col, 225, s. v. "Attis."

14. Cf. Tacitus, Annales, XI, 15.

15. This opinion has recently been defended by Showerman, Classical Journal, II, 1906, p. 29.

16. Frazer, The Golden Bough, II^2, pp. 130 ff.

17. Hepding, pp. 160 ff. Cf. the texts of Ambrosiaster cited in Rev. hist. et litt. relig., VIII, 1903, p. 423, n. 1.

18. Hepding, p. 193. Cf. Gruppe, p. 1541.

19. On this diffusion, cf. Drexler in Roscher, Lexikon, s. v. "Meter," col. 918.

20. Gregory of Tours, De glor. confess., c. 76. Cf. Passio S. Symphoriani in Ruinart, Acta sinc., ed. of 1859, p. 125. The carpentum mentioned in these texts is found in Africa; cf. CIL, VIII, 8457, and Graillot, Rev. archeol., 1904, I, p. 353; Hepding, op. cit., p. 173, n. 7.

21. [Greek: Tharreite mustai tou theou sesosmenou hestai gar humin ek ponon soteria]; cf. Hepding, op. cit., p. 167. Attis has become a god through his death (see Reitzenstein, Poimandres, p. 93), and in the same way were his votaries to become the equals of the divinity through death. The Phrygian epitaphs frequently have the character of dedications, and it appears that the graves were grouped about the temple, see Ramsay, Studies, pp. 65 ff., 271 ff., passim. {226}

22. Perdrizet, Bull. corr. hell., XIX, 1905, p. 534 ff.

23. We know of those beliefs of the Sabaziasts from the frescoes in the catacombs of Praetextatus; the Mercurius nuntius, who leads the dead, is found beside Attis under the Greek name of Hermes (see Hepding, p. 263).—Maybe the inscription CIL, VI, 509 = Inscr. graec., XIV, 1018, should be completed: [Greek: Rheiei [Hermei] te genethloi]; cf. CIL, VI, 499. Hermes appears beside the Mother of the gods on a bas-relief by Ouchak published by Michon, Rev. des etudes anciennes, 1906, p. 185, pl. II. See also Mendel, "Musee de Brousse," Bull. corr. hell., 1909, p. 255.—The Thracian Hermes is mentioned in Herodotus, see Maury, Rel. de la Grece, III, p. 136.

24. Besides Bellona-Ma, subordinate to Cybele and Sabazius, who was as much Jewish as Phrygian, there was only one god of Asia Minor, the Zeus Bronton (the Thunderer) of Phrygia, prominently mentioned in Roman epigraphy. See Pauly-Wissowa, Realenc., s. v. and Suppl. I, col. 258.

25. Cf. CIL, VI, 499: "Attidi menotyranno invicto." "Invictus" is the characteristic epithet of the solar divinities.

26. P. Perdrizet, "Men" (Bull. corr. hell., XX), 1896; Drexler in Roscher, Lexikon, s. v., II, col. 2687.

27. CIL, VI, 50 = Inscr. graec., XIV, 1018.

28. Schuerer, Sitzungsb. Akad. Berlin, XIII, 1897, p. 200 f. and our Hypsistos (Suppl. Revue instr. publ. en Belgique), 1897.

29. The term is taken from the terminology of the mysteries: the inscription cited dates back to 370 A. D. In 364, in connection with Eleusis, Agorius Praetextatus spoke of [Greek: sunechonta to anthropeion genos hagiotata musteria] (Zozimus, IV, 3, 2). Earlier the "Chaldean oracles" applied to the intelligible god the term [Greek: metra sunechousa ta panta] (Kroll, De orac. Chaldeicis, p. 19).

30. Henri Graillot, Les dieux Tout-Puissants, Cybele et Attis (Revue archeol., 1904, I), pp. 331 ff.—Graillot is rather inclined to admit a Christian influence, but omnipotentes was used as a liturgic epithet in 288 A. D., and at about the same date Arnobius (VII, 32) made use of the periphrasis omnipotentia numina to designate the Phrygian gods, and he {227} certainly was understood by all. This proves that the use of that periphrasis was general, and that it must have dated back to a much earlier period. As a matter of fact a dedication has been found at Delos, reading [Greek: Dii toi panton kratounti kai Metri megalei tei panton kratousei] (Bull. corr. hellen., 1882, p. 502, No. 25), that reminds the reader of the [Greek: pantokrator] of the Septuagint; and Graillot (loc. cit., p. 328, n. 7) justly observes, in this connection, that on certain bas-reliefs Cybele was united with the Theos Hypsistos, that is to say, the god of Israel; see Perdrizet, Bull. corr. hell., XXIII, 1899, p. 598. On the influence of Judaism on the cult of Men cf. Sam. Wide, Archiv fuer Religionsw., 1909, p. 227.—On the omnipotence of the Syrian gods, see ch. V, pp. 128 ff.

31. We are here giving the substance of a short essay on "Les mysteres de Sabazius et le judaisme," published in the Comptes Rendus Acad. Inscr., Febr. 9, 1906, pp. 63 ff. Cf. "A propos de Sabazius," Musee belge, XIV, 1910, pp. 56 ff.

32. Cf. Monuments myst. de Mithra, I, p. 333 f. The very early assimilation of Cybele and Anahita justifies to a certain extent the unwarranted practice of calling Cybele the Persian Artemis. See Radet, Revue des etudes anciennes, X, 1908, p. 157. The pagan theologians often considered Attis as the primeval man whose death brought about the creation, and so they likened him to the Mazdean Gayomart, see Bousset, Hauptprobleme der Gnosis, 1907, pp. 184 ff.

33. Prudentius, Peristeph., X, 1011 f.

34. Their meaning has been revealed through an inscription at Pergamum published by Schroeder, Athen. Mitt., 1904, pp. 152 ff.; cf. Revue archeologique, 1905, I, pp. 29 ff.—The ideas on the development of that ceremony, which we are summarizing here, have been expounded by us more fully in the Revue archeologique, 1888, II, pp. 132 ff.; Mon. myst. de Mithra, I, pp. 334 ff.; Revue d'histoire et de litt. relig., VI, 1901, p. 97.—Although the conclusions of the last article have been contested by Hepding (op. cit., 70 f.), it cannot be doubted that the taurobolium was already practised in Asia Minor, in the cult of the Ma-Bellona. Moore (American Journal of Archeology, 1905, p. 71) justly refers to the text of Steph. Byz., in this connection: [Greek: Mastaura; ekaleito de kai he Rhea Ma kai tauros autei ethueto para Ludois]. {228} The relation between the cult of Ma and that of Mithra is shown in the epithet of [Greek: Aneiketos], given to the goddess as well as to the god; see Athen. Mitt., XXIX, 1904, p. 169, and Keil und von Premerstein, "Reise in Lydien," Denkschr. Akad. Wien, 1908, p. 28 (inscription of the Hyrkanis plain).

35. Prudentius, Peristeph., 1027: "Pectus sacrato dividunt venabulo." The harpe shown on the taurobolic altars, is perhaps in reality a boar-spear having a kind of hilt (mora; cf. Grattius, Cyneg., 110) to prevent the blade from entering too far.

36. Hepding, pp. 196 ff.; cf. supra, n. 21.

37. CIL, VI, 510, = Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4152. Cf. Gruppe, Griech. Myth., p. 1541, n. 7.

38. Hepding, pp. 186 ff.

39. CIL, VI, 499: "Dii animae mentisque custodes." Cf. 512: "Diis magnis et tutatoribus suis," and CIL, XII, 1277, where Bel is called mentis magister.

40. Hippolytus, Refut. haeres., V, 9.

41. Julien, Or., V; cf. Paul Allard, Julien l'Apostat, II, pp. 246 ff.; Mau, Die Religionsphilosophie Kaiser Julians, 1908, pp. 90 ff. Proclus also devoted a philosophic commentary to the Cybele myth (Marinus, Vita Procli, 34).

42. Regarding all this see Revue d'histoire et de litterat. relig., VIII, 1903, pp. 423, ff.—Frazer (Osiris, Attis, Adonis, 1907, pp. 256 ff.) has recently defended the position that the commemoration of the death of Christ was placed by a great many churches upon March 25th to replace the celebration of Attis's death on the same date, just as Christmas has been substituted for the Natalis Invicti. The text of Ambrosiaster cited in our article (Pseudo Augustin, Quaest. veter. Test, LXXXIV, 3, p. 145, 13, Souter ed.) shows that this was asserted even in antiquity.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lafaye, Histoire du culte des divinites d'Alexandrie hors de l'Egypte, Paris, 1884, and article "Isis" in Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionn. des antiquites, III, 1899, {229} where may be found (p. 586) an index of the earlier works.—Drexler, art. "Isis" in Roscher, Lexikon der Mythol., II, p. 373-548.—Reville, op. cit., pp. 54 ff.—Wissowa, op. cit., pp. 292 ff.—Dill, op. cit., pp. 560 ff.—Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie und Religionsgesch., pp. 1563-1581 (published after the revision of this chapter).—The study of the Roman cult of the Alexandrian gods is inseparable from that of the Egyptian religion. It would be impossible to furnish a bibliography of the latter here. We shall only refer the reader to the general works of Maspero, Etudes de Mythologie, 4 vols., Paris, 1893, and Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient, 1895 (passim).—Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians, London, 1897 [cf. Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, "Religion of Egypt," V, pp. 177-197].—Erman, Die aegyptische Religion, Berlin, 1910.—Naville, La religion des anciens Egyptiens (six lectures delivered at the College de France), 1906.—W. Otto, Priester und Tempel im hellenistischen Aegypten, 2 vols., 1905, 1908.—The publication of a Bulletin critique des religions de l'Egypte by Jean Capart, begun in the Rev. de l'hist. des religions (LI, 1905, pp. 192 ff.; LIII, 1906, pp. 307 ff.; 1909, pp. 162 ff.).

1. Cf. on this controversy Bouche-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides, I, p. 102; S. Reinach, Cultes, Mythes et Religions, II, pp. 347 f.; Lehmann, Beitraege zur alten Geschichte, IV, 1904, pp. 396 ff.; Wilcken, Archiv f. Papyrusforschung, III, 1904, pp. 249 ff.; Otto, Priester und Tempel, I, 1905, pp. 11 ff.; Gruppe, loc. cit., pp. 1578 ff.; Petersen, Die Serapislegende, 1910, pp. 47 ff.; Schmidt, Kultuebertragungen, 1910, pp. 47 ff.

2. Herodotus, II, 42, 171.—Cf. n. 4.

3. AElius Aristides, VIII, 56 (I, p. 96, ed. Dindorf). Cf. Plut., De Iside et Osiride, ed. Parthey, p. 216.

4. Plut., De Is. et Osir., 28; cf. Otto, Priester und Tempel, II, pp. 215 ff.—This Timotheus is undoubtedly the same one that wrote about the Phrygian mysteries; see infra, n. 79.—The question, to what extent the Hellenistic cult had the form ascribed to it by Plutarch and Apuleius immediately after its creation, is still unsettled; see Otto, Priester und Tempel, II, p. 222. We do not appear to have any direct proof of the existence of "mysteries" of Isis and Serapis {230} prior to the Empire, but all probabilities are in favor of a more ancient origin, and the mysteries were undoubtedly connected with the ancient Egyptian esoterism.—See infra, n. 78.

5. Diogenes Laertius, V, 5, Sec. 76: [Greek: Hothen kai tous paianas poiesai tous mechri nun haidomenous]. The [Greek: mechri nun] Diogenes took undoubtedly from his source, Didymus. See Artemidorus, Onirocr., II, 44 (p. 143, 25 Hercher).—This information is explicitly confirmed by an inscription which mentions [Greek: he hiera taxis ton paianiston] (Inscr. Graec., XIV, 1034).

6. Kaibel, Epigr. 1028 = Abel, Orphica, p. 295, etc.—See supra, ch. I, n. 14.—According to recent opinion, M. de Wilamowitz was good enough to write me, the date of the Andros hymn cannot have been later than the period of Cicero, and it is very probably contemporary with Sulla.—See supra, ch. I, n. 14.—On other similar texts, see Gruppe, Griech. Mythol., P. 1563.

7. Amelung, Le Serapis de Bryaxis (Revue archeol, 1903, II), p. 178.

8. P. Foucart, Le culte de Dionysos en Attique (Mem. Acad. des Inscr., XXXVII), 1904. On the Isis cult in ancient Greece, we can now refer to Gruppe, Griech. Myth., pp. 1565 ff.; Ruhl, De Sarapide et Iside in Graecia cultis (Diss. Berlin) 1906, has made careful use of the epigraphic texts dating back to the time before the Roman period.

9. The only exception is the Zeus Ammon, who was only half Egyptian and owed his very early adoption to the Greek colonies of Cyrene; see Gruppe, Griech. Myth., p. 1558. The addition of other goddesses, like Nephtis or Bubastis to Isis is exceptional.

10. Concerning the impression which Egypt made on travelers, see Friedlaender, Sittengesch., II^6, 144 ff.; Otto, Priester und Tempel, II, p. 210.

11. Juvenal, XV, 10, and the notes of Friedlaender on these passages.—The Athenian comic writers frequently made fun of the Egyptian zoolatry (Lafaye, op. cit., p. 32). Philo of Alexandria considered the Egyptians as the most idolatrous heathens and he attacked their animal worship, in particular {231} (De Decal., 16, II, p. 193 M., and passim). The pagan writers were no less scandalized (Cicero, Nat. deor., III, 15, etc.) except where they preferred to apply their ingenuity to justify it. See Dill, loc. cit., p. 571.—The features of this cult in ancient Egypt have been recently studied by George Foucart, Revue des idees, Nov. 15, 1908, and La methode comparative et l'histoire des religions, 1909, pp. 43 ff.

12. Macrobius, Sat., I, 20, Sec. 16.

13. Holm, Gesch. Siziliens, I, p. 81.

14. Libanius, Or., XI, 114 (I, p. 473 Foerster). Cf. Drexler in Roscher, op. cit., col. 378.

15. Pausan., I, 18, 4: [Greek: Sarapidos hon para Ptolemaiou theon eisegagonto]. Ruhl (op. cit., p. 4) attaches no historic value to this text, but, as he points out himself, we have proof that an official Isis cult existed at Athens under Ptolemy Soter, and that Serapis was worshiped in that city at the beginning of the third century.

16. Dittenberger, Or. gr. inscr. sel., No. 16.

17. Apul., Metam., XI, 17.

18. Thus it is found to be the case from the first half of the third century at Thera, a naval station of the Ptolemies (Hiller von Gaertringen, Thera, III, pp. 85 ff.; cf. Ruhl, op. cit., p. 59), and also at Rhodes (Rev. archeol., 1905, I, p. 341). Cult of Serapis at Delos, cf. Comptes rendus Acad. inscr., 1910, pp. 294 ff.

19. A number of proofs of its diffusion have been collected by Drexler, loc. cit., p. 379. See Lafaye, "Isis" (cf. supra), p. 577; and Ruhl, De Sarapide et Iside in Graecia cultis, 1906.

20. This interpretation has already been proposed by Ravaisson (Gazette archeologique, I, pp. 55 ff.), and I believe it to be correct, see Comptes Rendus Acad. Inscr., 1906, p. 75, n. 1.

21. The power of the Egyptian cult in the Oriental half of the empire has been clearly shown by von Domaszewski (Roem. Mitt., XVII, 1902, pp. 333 ff.), but perhaps with some exaggeration. All will endorse the restrictions formulated by Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christentums, II, p. 274.

22. The very early spread of Orphic doctrines in Magna Graecia, evidenced by the tablets of Sybaris and Petilia (Diels, {232} Vorsokratiker, II^2, p. 480) must have prepared the way for it. These tablets possess many points in common with the eschatological beliefs of Egypt, but, as their latest commentator justly remarks (Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, p. 624), these new ideas are fairly overwhelmed in the old mythology. The mysteries of Isis and Serapis seemed to offer a revelation that had been a presentiment for a long time, and the affirmation of a truth foreshadowed by early symbols.

23. CIL, X, 1781, I, 15-6.

24. Apul., Metam., XI, 30.

25. Wissowa, op. cit., p. 292-3; cf. Seeck, Hermes, XLIII, 1908, p. 642.

26. Manicheism was later persecuted on a similar pretext, see Collat. Mos. et Rom. leg., 15, 3, Sec. 4: "De Persica adversaria nobis gente progressa."

27. A full list of the inscriptions and monuments discovered in the various cities is given by Drexler in Roscher, Lexikon, s. v. "Isis," II, col. 409 ff.

28. Hirschfeld, CIL, XII, p. 382, and Wiener Studien, V, 1883, pp. 319-322.

29. Cf. Wissowa, op. cit., pp. 294 ff.

30. Minuc. Fel., Octav. 22, 2: "Haec AEgyptia quondam nunc et sacra Romana sunt."

31. Carmen contra paganos (Anthol. lat., ed. Riese, I, 20 ff.) v. 91, 95 ff.; cf. Ps. Aug., Quaest. Vet. Test., CXIV, 11 (p. 308, 10 Souter), and Rev. hist. litt. relig., VIII, 1903, p. 422, n. 1.

32. Rufin, II, 24: "Caput ipsum idolatriae." A miniature from an Alexandrian chronicle shows the patriarch Theophilus, crowned with a halo, stamping the Serapeum under foot, see Bauer and Strzygowski, Eine alexandrinische Weltchronik (Denkschr. Akad. Wien, LI), 1905, to the year 391, pp. 70 ff., 122, and pl. VI.

33. Cf. Drexler in Roscher, s. v. "Isis," II, p. 425; Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christentums, II, pp. 147 ff.—Some curious details showing the persistence of the Isis cult among the professors and students of Alexandria during the last years of the {233} fifth century are given in the life of Severus of Antioch by Zachariah the Scholastic (Patrol. orient., I, ed. Kugener), pp. 17 ff., 27 ff.

34. Ps.-Apul., 34. Compare with a similar prophecy in the Sibylline oracles, V, 184 f. (p. 127, Geffcken ed.).

35. Iseum of Beneventum; cf. Notizie debgli scavi di ant., 1904, pp. 107 ff. Iseum of the Campus Martius: see Lanciani, Bollet. communale di Roma, 1883, pp. 33 ff.; Marucchi, ibid., 1890, pp. 307 f.—The signa Memphitica (made of Memphian marble), are mentioned in an inscription (Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4367-8).—The term used in connection with Caracalla: "Sacra Isidis Romam deportavit," which Spartianus (Carac., 9; cf. Aur. Vict., Caes., 21, 4) no longer understood, also seems to refer to a transfer of sacred Egyptian monuments. At Delos a statue of a singer taken from some grave of the Sais period had been placed in the temple. Everything Egyptian was looked upon as sacred. (Ruhl, op. cit., p. 53).

36. Gregorovius, Gesch. des Kaisers Hadrian, pp. 222 ff.; cf. Drexler, loc. cit., p. 410.

37. The term is Wiedemann's.

38. Naville, op. cit., pp. 89 ff.

39. On the [Greek: hierogammateus] Cheremon, see Otto, Priester und Tempel II, p. 216; Schwartz in Pauly-Wissowa, Realenc., III, col. 2025 ff.

40. Doctrines of Plutarch: cf. Decharme, Traditions religieuses chez les Grecs, pp. 486 ff. and supra, ch. I, n. 20.

41. I did not mention Hermetism, made prominent by the researches of Reitzenstein, because I believe its influence in the Occident to have been purely literary. To my knowledge there is no trace in the Latin world of an Hermetic sect with a clergy and following. The Heliognostae or Deinvictiaci who, in Gaul, attempted to assimilate the native Mercury with the Egyptian Thoth, (Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 49, n. 2; cf. 359), were Christian gnostics. I believe that Reitzenstein misunderstood the facts when he stated (Wundererzaehlungen, 1906, p. 128): "Die hermetische Literatur ist im zweiten und dritten Jahrhundert fuer alle religioes-interessierten der allgemeine Ausdruck der Froemmigkeit geworden." I believe that {234} Hermetism, which is used as a label for doctrines of very different origin, was influenced by "the universal spirit of devotion," and was not its creator. It was the result of a long continued effort to reconcile the Egyptian traditions first with Chaldean astrology, then with Greek philosophy, and it became transformed simultaneously with the philosophy. But this subject would demand extended development. It is admitted by Otto, the second volume of whose book has been published since the writing of these lines, that not even during the Hellenistic period was there enough theological activity of the Egyptian clergy to influence the religion of the times. (Priester und Tempel, II, pp. 218-220).

42. Plut, De Isid., 9.

43. Apul., Metam., XI, 5.

44. CIL X, 3800 = Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4362.

45. See the opening pages of this chapter.

46. Plut,. De Iside et Osir., 52; cf. Hermes Trismegistus, [Greek: Horoi Asklepiou], c. 16; and Reitzenstein, Poimandres, p. 197.

47. Cf. Naville, op. cit., pp. 170 ff.

48. Juv., VI, 489: "Isiacae sacraria lenae"; cf. Friedlaender, Sittengeschichte, I^6, p. 502.

49. In a recent book Farnell has brilliantly outlined the history of the ritual of purification and that of the conception of purity throughout antiquity (Evolution of Religion, London, 1905, pp. 88-192), but unfortunately he has not taken Egypt into account where the primitive forms have been maintained with perhaps the fewest alterations.

50. Juv., VI, 522 ff.

51. Friedlaender, Sittengeschichte, I^6, p. 510.—On this transformation of the Isis cult, cf. Reville, op. cit., p. 56.

52. Plut., De Iside, c. 2; cf. Apul., Met., XI, 6, end.

53. AElius Arist., In Sarap., 25 (II, p. 359, Keil ed.); see Diodorus, I, 93, and Apuleius, XI, 6, end.—On future rewards and punishments in Hermetism, see Ps.-Apul., Asclepius, c. 28; Lydus, De mensib., IV, 32 and 149, Wuensch ed.

54. Porph., Epist. ad Aneb., 29. The answer of the Ps.-Iamblichus (de Myst., VI, 5-7) is characteristic. He {235} maintained that these threats were addressed to demons; however, he was well aware that the Egyptians did not distinguish clearly between incantations and prayers (VI, 7, 5).

55. Cf. G. Hock, Griechische Weihegebraeuche, 1905, pp. 65 ff. Ps.-Apul., Asclep., 23: "Homo fictor est deorum qui in templis sunt et non solum inluminatur, verum etiam inluminat"; c. 37: "Proavi invenerunt artem qua efficerent deos." Cf. George Foucart, loc. cit. [n. 61]: "La statuaire egyptienne a, avant tout autre, le caractere de creer des etres vivants."

56. Maspero, Sur la toute-puissance de la parole (Recueil de travaux, XXIV), 1902, pp. 163-175; cf. my Recherches sur le manicheisme, p. 24, n. 2.—The parallelism between the divine and the sacerdotal influence is established in Ps.-Apul., Asclepius, 23.

57. Iamblichus, Myst., VI, 6; cf. G. Foucart, La methode comparative et l'histoire des religions, 1909, p. 131, 141, 149 ff. and infra, n. 66. The Egyptians prided themselves on having been the first "to know the sacred names and to use the sacred speech" (Luc., De Dea Syr., 1).

58. This has been proven by Otto, Priester und Tempel, I, pp. 114 ff. Cf. supra, chap. II, n. 35. Certain busts have recently inspired Mr. Dennison to give his attention to the tonsure of the votaries of Isis (American Journ. of Archeology, V, 1905, p. 341). The Pompeian frescoes representing priests and ceremonies of the Isis cult are particularly important for our knowledge of the liturgy (Guimet, C. R. Acad. des Inscr., 1896, pls. VII-IX. Cf. von Bissing, Transact. congr. relig. Oxford, 1908, I, pp. 225 ff.).

59. CIL, XII, 3061: "Ornatrix fani."

60. Cf. Kan, De Iove Dolicheno, 1901, p. 33.

61. Cf. Moret, Le rituel du culte divin journalier en Egypte, Paris, 1902. Just as the ritual of consecration brought the statue to life (supra, n. 55), the repeated sacrifices sustained life, and made it longa durare per tempora (Ps.-Apul., Asclep., 38). The epithet of [Greek: aeizoos], given to several divinities (CIG, 4598; Griech. Urkunden of Berlin, I, No. 124), expresses it exactly. All this is in conformity with the old ideas prevailing in the valley of the Nile (see George Foucart, Revue des {236} idees, Nov. 15, 1908).—When compared with the Egyptian ceremonial, the brief data scattered through the Greek and Latin authors become wonderfully clear and coherent.

62. Apul., XI, 22: "Rituque sollemni apertionis celebrato ministerio." Cf. XI, 20: "Matutinas apertiones templi."

63. Jusephus, Ant. Jud., XVIII, 3, 5, Sec. 174.

64. Servius ad Verg., Aen., IV, 512: "In templo Isidis aqua sparsa de Nilo esse dicebatur"; cf. II, 116. When, by pouring water taken from the river, reality took the place of this fiction, the act was much more effective; see Juv. VII, 527.

65. This passage, together with a chapter from Apuleius (XI, 20), is the principal text we have in connection with the ritual of those Isis matins. (De Abstin., IV, 9):

[Greek: Hos pou eti kai nun en tei anoixei tou hagiou Sarapidos he therapeia dia puros kai hudatos ginetai, leibontos tou humnodou to hudor kai to pur phainontos, hopenika hestos epi tou oudou tei patrioi ton Aiguption phonei egeirei ton theon].

Arnobius (VII, 32) alludes to the same belief of the votaries of Isis: "Quid sibi volunt excitationes illae quas canitis matutini conlatis ad tibiam vocibus? Obdormiscunt enim superi remeare ut ad vigilias debeant? Quid dormitiones illae quibus ut bene valeant auspicabili salutatione mandatis?"

66. On the power of "barbarian names" see my Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 313, n. 4; Dieterich, Mithrasliturgie, pp. III ff. Cf. Charles Michel, Note sur un passage de Jamblique (Melanges, Louis Havet), 1909, p. 279.—On the persistence of the same idea among the Christians, cf. Harnack, Ausbreitung des Christ., I, pp. 124 ff.; Heitmueller, Im Namen Jesu, Goettingen, 1903 (rich material).

67. Apul., Met., XI, 9.

68. CIL, II, 3386 = Dessau, Inscr. sel., 442; cf. 4423.

69. Apul., XI, 24; cf. Lafaye, pp. 118 ff. Porphyry (De Abstin., IV, 6) dwells at length on this contemplative character of the Egyptian devotion: The priests [Greek: apedosan holon ton bion tei ton theon theoriai kai theasei].

70. In the Pharaonic ritual the closing ceremony seems to have taken place during the morning, but in the Occident the sacred images were exposed for contemplation, and the {237} ancient Egyptian service must, therefore, have been divided into two ceremonies.

71. Herodotus, II, 37.

72. Cf. Maspero, Rev. critique, 1905, II, p. 361 ff.

73. Apul., Metam., XI, 7 ff.—This festival seems to have persisted at Catana in the worship of Saint Agatha; cf. Analecta Bollandiana, XXV, 1906, p. 509.

74. Similar masquerades are found in a number of pagan cults (Mon. myst. Mithra, I, p. 315), and from very early times they were seen in Egypt; see von Bissing, loc. cit., n. 58, p. 228.

75. The pausarii are mentioned in the inscriptions; cf. Dessau, Inscr. sel., 4353, 4445.

76. Schaefer, Die Mysterien des Osiris in Abydos unter Sesostris III, Leipsic, 1904; cf. Capart, Rev. hist, relig., LI, 1905, p. 229, and Wiedemann, Melanges Nicole, pp. 574 ff. Junker, "Die Stundenwachen in den Osirismysterien" (Denkschrift Akad. Wien, LIV) 1910.

77. In the Abydos mysteries, the god Thoth set out in a boat to seek the body of Osiris. Elsewhere it was Isis who sailed out in quest of it. We do not know whether this scene was played at Rome; but it certainly was played at Gallipoli where make-believe fishermen handled the nets in a make-believe Nile; cf. P. Foucart, Rech. sur les myst. d'Eleusis (Mem. Acad. Inscr., XXXV), p. 37.

78. Cheremon in Porphyry, Epist. ad Aneb., 31:

[Greek: Kai ta krupta tes Isidos epainei kai to en Abudoi aporreton deixei].

Cf. Iamblichus, De myster., VI, 5-7.—On the "mysteries" of Isis in Egypt, cf. Foucart, loc. cit., p. 19 f.; De Jong, De Apuleio Isiacorum mysteriorum teste, Leyden, 1900, pp. 79 f., and Das antike Mysterienwesen, Leyden, 1909.

79. Cf. supra.—De Jong, op. cit., pp. 40 ff.; Gruppe, Griech. Mythol., p. 1574.

80. La Cite antique, I, ch. II, end.

81. Cf. Erman, op. cit., pp. 96-97.

82. Sufficient proof is contained in the bas-reliefs cited above (n. 20), where apotheosized death assumes the shape of {238} Serapis. Compare Kaibel, Inscr. gr., XIV, 2098: [Greek: Eupsuchi meta tou Oseiridos]. This material conception of immortality could be easily reconciled with the old Italian ideas, which had persisted in a dormant state in the minds of the people, see Friedlaender, Sittengeschichte, III^6, p. 758.

83. Reitzenstein, Archiv fuer Religionswiss., VII, 1904, 406 ff. These are perhaps the most striking pages written on the meaning of the ceremony; it is an [Greek: apathanatismos]. Cf. also Reitzenstein, Hellenistische Wundererzaehlungen, p. 116.

84. Apul., Metam., 23.—De Jong, the latest commentator on this passage, seems inclined to take it as a mere ecstatic vision, but the vision was certainly caused by a dramatic scene in the course of which hell and heaven were shown in the dark.—The Egyptians represented them even on the stage; see Suetonius, Calig., 8: "Parabatur et in mortem spectaculum quo argumenta inferorum per Aegyptios et Aethiopas explicarentur."

85. Apul., Met., XI, 6 end.

86. Ibid., c. 24: "Inexplicabili voluptate divini simulacri perfruebar."

87. Plut., De Isid., 78, p. 383 A:

[Greek: Hos an exertemenais (tais psuchais ap' autou (tou Osiridos kai theomenais aplestos kai pothousais to me phaton mede rheton anthropois kallos].

88. Cf., supra, n. 22.

89. We find similar wishes on the Egyptian monuments, frequently at least since the Middle Empire. "Donnez-moi de l'eau courante a boire.... Mettez-moi la face au vent du nord sur le bord de l'eau et que sa fraicheur calme mon coeur" (Maspero, Etudes egyptiennes, I, 1881, p. 189). "Oh, si j'avais de l'eau courante a boire et si mon visage etait tourne vers le vent du nord" (Naville,op. cit., p. 174). On a funerary stele in the Brussels museum (Capart, Guide, 1905, p. 71) is inscribed, "Que les dieux accordent de boire l'eau des sources, de respirer les doux vents du nord."—The very material origin of this wish appears in the funeral texts, where the soul is shown crossing the desert, threatened with hunger and thirst, and obtaining refreshment by the aid of the gods (Maspero, Etudes de mythol. et d'archeol. egypt., 1883, I, pp. {239} 366 ff.).—On a tablet at Petilia (see supra, n. 22), the soul of the deceased is required to drink the fresh water ([Greek: psuchron hudor]) flowing from the lake of Memory in order to reign with the heroes. There is nothing to prevent our admitting with Foucart ("Myst. d'Eleusis," Mem. Acad. des Inscr., XXXV, 2, p. 67), that the Egyptian ideas may have permeated the Orphic worship of southern Italy after the fourth or third century, since they are found expressed a hundred years earlier at Carpentras (infra, n. 90).

90. [Greek: Doie soi ho Osiris to psuchron hudor], at Rome: Kaibel, Inscr. gr. XIV. 1488, 1705, 1782, 1842; cf. 658 and CIL, VI, 3, 20616.—[Greek: Soi de Oseiridos hagnon hudor Eisis charisaito], Rev. archeol., 1887, p. 199, cf. 201.—[Greek: Psuchei dipsosei psuchron hudor metados], CIG, 6267 = Kaibel, 1890. It is particularly interesting to note that almost the same wish appears on the Aramaic stele of Carpentras (C. I. Sem., II, 141), which dates back to the fourth or fifth century B. C.: "Blessed be thou, take water from in front of Osiris."—A passage in the book of Enoch manifestly inspired by Egyptian conceptions, mentions the "spring of water," the "spring of life," in the realm of the dead (Enoch, xxii. 2, 9. Cf. Martin, Le livre d'Henoch, 1906, p. 58, n. 1, and Bousset, Relig. des Judentums, 1903, p 271). From Judaism the expression has passed into Christianity. Cf. Rev. vii. 17; xxi. 6.

91. The Egyptian origin of the Christian expression has frequently been pointed out and cannot be doubted; see Lafaye, op. cit., p. 96, n. 1; Rohde, Psyche, II, p. 391; Kraus, Realencycl. der christl. Alt., s. v. "Refrigerium"; and especially Dieterich, Nekyia, pp. 95 ff. Cf. Perdrizet, Rev. des etudes anc., 1905, p. 32; Audollent, Melanges Louis Havet, 1909, p. 575.—The refrigerii sedes, which the Catholic Church petitions for the deceased in the anniversary masses, appears in the oldest Latin liturgies, and the Greeks, who do not believe in purgatory, have always expressed themselves along the same lines. For instance, Nubian inscriptions which are in perfect agreement with the euchology of Constantinople hope the soul will rest [Greek: en topoi chloeroi, en topoi anapsuxeos] (G. Lefebvre, Inscr. gr. chret. d'Eg., No. 636, 664 ff., and introd., p. xxx; cf. Dumont, Melanges, Homolle ed., pp. 585 ff.). The detail is not without significance because it furnishes a {240} valuable indication as to the Egyptian origin of prayer for the dead; this is unknown to Graeco-Roman paganism which prayed to the deified dead but never for the dead as such. The Church took this custom from the Synagogue, but the Jews themselves seem to have taken it from the Egyptians during the Hellenistic period, undoubtedly in the course of the second century (S. Reinach, Cultes, mythes, I, p. 325), just as they were indebted to the Egyptians for the idea of the "spring of life" (supra, n. 90). The formula in the Christian inscriptions cited,

[Greek: anapauson ten psuchen en kolpois Abraam kai Isaak kai Iakob],

appears to indicate a transposition of the doctrine of identification with Osiris. In this way we can explain the persistence in the Christian formulary of expressions, like requies aeterna, corresponding to the most primitive pagan conceptions of the life of the dead, who were not to be disturbed in their graves.—A name for the grave, which appears frequently in Latin epitaphs, viz., domus aeterna (or aeternalis) is undoubtedly also of Egyptian importation. In Egypt, "la tombe est la maison du mort, sa maison d'eternite, comme disent les textes" (Capart, Guide du musee de Bruxelles, 1905, p. 32). The Greeks were struck by this expression which appears in innumerable instances. Diodorus of Sicily (I, 51, Sec. 2) was aware that the Egyptians

[Greek: tous ton teteleutekoton taphous aidious oikous prosagoreuousin, hos en Haidou diatelounton ton apeiron aiona] (cf. I, 93, Sec. 1, [Greek: eis ten aionion oikesin]).—

It is probable that this appellation of the tomb passed from Egypt into Palestine and Syria. It appears already in Ecclesiastes, xii. 7 (beth 'olam = "house of eternity"), and it is found in Syrian epigraphy (for instance in inscriptions of the third century (Comptes Rendus Acad. Inscr., 1906, p. 123), also in the epigraphy of Palmyra. (Chabot, Journal asiatique, 1900, p. 266, No. 47)).—Possibly the hope for consolation, [Greek: Eupsuchei, oudeis athanatos], frequently found engraved upon tombs even in Latin countries was also derived from the Egyptian religion, but this is more doubtful. [Greek: Eupsuchei] is found in the epitaphs of initiates in the Alexandrian mysteries. Kaibel, Inscr. gr., XIV, 1488, 1782 ([Greek: Eupsuchei kuria kai doie soi ho Osiris to psuchron hudor]), 2098 (cf. supra, n. 90). Possibly the twofold meaning of {241} [Greek: eupsuchos] which stands both for animosus and frigidus (see Dieterich, Nekyia, loc. cit.) has been played upon. But on the other hand, the idea contained in the formula "Be cheerful, nobody is immortal," also inspired the "Song of the Harpist," a canonical hymn that was sung in Egypt on the day of the funeral. It invited the listener to "make his heart glad" before the sadness of inevitable death (Maspero, Etudes egyptiennes, I, 1881, pp. 171 ff.; cf. Naville, op. cit., p. 171).


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Syrian religions have been studied with especial attention to their relation with Judaism: Baudissin, Studien zur semitischen Religionsgeschichte, 2 vols., Leipsic, 1876. The same author has published veritable monographs on certain divinities (Astarte, Baal, Sonne, etc.) in the Realencyclopaedie fuer prot. Theol., of Herzog-Hauck, 3d ed.—Baethgen, Beitraege zur semitischen Religionsgeschichte, Berlin, 1888.—W. Robertson Smith, The Religion of the Semites, 2d. ed., London, 1894.—Lagrange, Etudes sur les religions semitiques, 2d ed., Paris, 1905. The results of the excavations in Palestine, which are important in regard to the funeral customs and the oldest idolatry, have been summarized by Father Hugues Vincent, Canaan d'apres l'exploration recente, 1907.—On the propagation of the Syrian religions in the Occident, see Reville, op. cit., pp. 70 et passim; Wissowa, Religion der Roemer, pp. 299 ff.; Gruppe, Griech. Mythol., pp. 1582 f.—Important observations will be found in Clermont-Ganneau, Recueil d'archeologie orientale, 8 vols., 1888, and in Dussaud, Notes de mythologie syrienne, Paris, 1903. We have published a series of articles on particular divinities in the Realencyclopaedie of Pauly-Wissowa (Baal, Balsamem, Dea Syria, Dolichenus, Gad, etc.). Other monographs are cited below.

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