Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Boissier, La religion romaine d'Auguste aux Antonins, especially Bk. II, ch. II.--Jean Réville, La religion a Rome sous les Sévères, Paris, 1886.--Wissowa, Religion und Cultus der Römer, 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,

p. 219

[paragraph continues] Oxford, 1905.--Cf. also Gruppe, Griech. Mythologie und Religionsgeschichte, 1906, pp. 1519 ff.--Wendland, Die hellenistisch-römische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zum Judentum und zum Christentum, Tübingen, 1907, pp. 54 f.--The monographs will be cited in connection with the different cults which they treat.

2_1. Mélanges 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_2. Holl, Volkssprache in Kleinasien (Hermes, 1908,., pp, 250 ff.).

2_3. The volume of Hahn, Rom und Romanismus im griechisch-römischen 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.

2_4. Cf. Tacitus, Annales, XIV, 44: "Nationes in familiis habemus quibus diversi ritus, externa sacra aut nulla sunt."

2_5. S. Reinach, Epona (Extr. Rev. archéol.). 1895.

2_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.

2_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."

2_8. Hepding, Attis, pp. 178 ff., 187.

2_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 demanded

p. 220

by custom, and later by law. In regard to the development of this twofold meaning, see the recent note by Richard Heinze, Archiv für lateinische Lexicographie, XV, pp. 90 ff. Sematology is often synonymous with the study of customs.

2_10. Réville, op. cit., p. 144.

2_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.

2_12. Firmicus Maternus mentioned this in De errore prof. relig., c. 8.

2_13. For Babylonia, cf. Strab., XVI, 1, §6, and infra, ch. V, n.  5_51; for Egypt, id., XVII, 21, § 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.

2_14. Strabo, loc. cit.: Ἀνατιθέασι δὲ τῷ Ἑρμῇ τὴν τοιαύτῆν σοφίαν; Pliny, Hist. nat., VI, 26, § 121: "(Belus) inventor fuit sideralis scientiae"; cf. Solinus, 56, § 3; Achilles, Isag., I (Maass, Comm. in Arat., p. 27): Βὴλῳ τὴν εὔρεσιν ἀναθέντες. 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 = Bücheler, Carm. epigr., 24: "(Dea Syria) ex quis muneribus nosse contigit deos," etc., cf. Plut., Crass., 7.--"Religion im Sinne des Orients ist die Erklärung alles dessen was ist, also eine Weltauffassung" (Winckler, Himmelsbild der Babylonier, 1903, p. 9).

2_15. Mon. myst. Mithra, L 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 manichéisme, 1908, p. 53.

2_16. Cf. Porphyry, Epist. Aneb., II; Jambl., De myst., II, 11.

p. 221

2_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.

2_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 für Gesch. der Philos., I, pp. 200 ff.

2_19. Luterbacher, Der Prodigienglaube der Römer, Burgdorf, 1904.

2_20. Juvenal, II, 149; cf. Diodorus, I, 93, §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. 106F), "nous laisse entendre que pour la plupart de ses contemporains ce sont là des contes de nourrice qui ne peuvent effrayer que des enfants" (Decharme, Traditions religieuses chez les Grecs, 1904, p. 442).

2_21. Aug., Civ. Dei, VI, 2; Varro, Antiqu., ed. Aghad, 141; "Se timere ne (dii) pereant non incursu hostili sed civium neglegentia."

2_22. I have developed this point in my Mon. myst. Mithra, I, pp. 279 ff.

2_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.

2_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.

2_25. We shall mention this subject again when speaking of the taurobolium in ch. III, pp. 67 ff.

2_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

p. 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, I2, p. 60.

2_27. Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, pp. 157 ff.; Hepding, Attis, pp. 194 ff.--Cf. Frazer, Golden Bough, III2 pp. 424 ff.

2_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.  8_24.

2_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.

2_30. On ἐξομολόγησις 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. III.

2_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 sémit., p. 225 ff. Schrank, Babylonische Sühnriten, 1909, p. 46.

2_32. Juvenal, VI, 523 ff., 537 ff.; cf. Seneca, Vit. beat., XXVI, 8.

2_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.  5_37. See in general, Hepding, Attis, pp. 185 ff.

2_34. We know according to Herbert Spencer that the progressive

p. 223

differentiation of the ecclestiastic and lay functions is one of the characteristics of religious evolution. In this regard Rome was far behind the Orient.

2_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.

2_36. The development of the conceptions of "salvation" and "saviour" after the Hellenistic period has been studied by Wendland, Σωτήρ (Zeitschrift für neutestam. Wissensch., V, 1904, pp. 335 ff.). See also Lietzmann, Der Weltheiland, Bonn, 1909. W. Otto, "Augustus Σωτήρ," Hermes, XLV, 1910, pp. 448 ff.

2_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).

2_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.

2_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.

2_40. Boissier, Rel. rom., I3, p. 359; Friedländer, Sittengesch., I6, pp. 500 ff.

Next: III. Asia Minor