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Re: Herodotus, to PMCV

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  • fred60471
    ... joining the Egyptian club anytime soon, this does give us an idea of what is going on there. This post is well written, but it does fall victim to some
    Message 1 of 170 , May 7, 2003
      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      >Hey Fred, thanks for posting this. While I doubt that I will be
      joining the Egyptian club anytime soon, this does give us an idea of
      what is going on there. This post is well written, but it does fall
      victim to some fundemental errors. What is more, if we look at it
      carefully we see that no where in this post is there any mention of
      transmigration in any tradtional Egyptian texts, it is only an
      arguement as to why we might take our Greek source at face value. This
      still does not help us, but it is interesting none the less. Let me
      deal with a couple of specific snippets....<

      This is simply not true. Did you bother to read the whole post before
      replying? The writer does mention some specific "traditional Egyptian
      texts," namely: The Book of the Dead (BD 76-88), The Coffin Texts (CT
      105), and The Book of the Dead (BD 188). In these texts the writer's
      argument hinges on the translation of a specific hieroglyph, i.e, /irt
      xprw/, which could indicate a belief by the Egyptians in
      metempsychosis. There is still quite a lot of scholarly debate about
      the correct translation of this hieroglyph. It has variously been
      translated as: "make transformation into," "assume the form of," or
      "to be reborn." Contra these translations, other Egyptologists define
      this hieroglyph in more mundane expressions: "to be born," "brought
      up," or "educated." The argument is still not settled, but a good
      argument can be made for the former translations, which is mentioned
      in further posts on this subject in the Amun group. Some Egyptologists
      also discuss certain specific translations in The Pyramid Texts, but
      herein lies the problem: If you want to peruse the archives of this
      group, you have to join it. Since you have chosen not to do this, it
      is obvious to me that you haven't looked at any of these posts. If you
      refuse to even look at the evidence, I can't see how you can seriously
      make the claim of using a correct methodology of historical criticism.

      A couple of comments on a few of your other statements:

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      >>Lloyd states, "Herodotus is certainly mistaken in attributing the
      Greek doctrine of _palingenesia_ to the Egyptians. His error, like
      many others, is to be explained by the _post hoc ergo propter hoc_
      fallacy ....The belief in transmigration seems to have developed
      independently in many parts of the world and there is no reason to
      believe that it was a foreign import into Greece where it maintained
      itself in some form until the establishment of Christianity....
      During, and before, the time of Herodotus it was particularly
      associated with Pythagoras, Empedocles and the Orphics. Pythagoras and
      his followers taught that the souls of men could be reincarnated in
      animals, a doctrine which presumably arose from the conviction of the
      kinship of all living things..."<<
      >This is the general academic view. It is a view that no one here has
      answered (though I have repeatedly asked George to do so). There
      simply is no reason to assume there must be some alien source to these
      beliefs, which is why it is absolutely important to demonstrate an
      influence before defying Occams Razor. An internal consistancy has
      already been demonstrated that shows there is no need for an external
      source for the belief in transmigration, no need to multipy enteties.<

      Well, we agree as to what the general academic view is, but I would
      challenge this assumption that we have no need to postulate an alien
      source of a belief in metempsychosis, in other words, the idea that
      metempsychosis developed indigenously in the Greek environment, as it
      did in some other cultures. Edward Hussey, in his book The
      Presocratics, discusses the belief of transmigration of souls in the
      teaching of Pythagoras and states that it was a completely new and
      original view in Greek thought. This is why many scholars are
      postulating an outside source for the views. There been quite a lot of
      scholarly research that the beliefs were influenced by the practices
      of Scythian shamans, or possibly Thracian sources. This too is an
      unsettled debate, but if we accept that these beliefs are of an alien
      source in Greek thought, why not accept the view of so many Classical
      writers, and Christian polemicists too, who do not mention Scythia as
      the source for these beliefs in Pythgoras, but name Egypt as the
      source? Hussey also makes the point that many other of the Milesian
      Presocratics resided on a major trade route where they were likely to
      come into contact with Middle Eastern, as well as Egyptian travelers.
      So the Presocratics were well positioned to develop an Egyptology.
      Hussey says the Middle Eastern influences on Greek thought have long
      been overlooked, and require further research.

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      >>He is referring to the tale told immediately before (II.122) about a
      king Rhampsinitus descending alive into Hades (=Amenta), playing dice
      with Demeter (=Isis), sometimes winning, sometimes losing, then
      returning to earth again. The Egyptians instituted a festival in honor
      of this event. We can recognize in the outlines of this tale parallels
      to the Osirian Festival of Khoiak. There are also similarities to the
      Tale of Setne Khaemwas where we find the priest in a tomb playing
      draughts with a ghost (Lichtheim, _AEL_, III, p.132ff.)<<
      >I would like to point out the obvious here. We already see the
      syncratic impatus that was to later become "Hellenization" in
      Heroditus' desire to speak in terms of the Greek pantheon. How much of
      a jump is it for him to also apply Greek interpretation? Instead, it
      is highly likely that he did.<

      Herodotus was writing for a popular Greek audience who knew
      practically nothing about Egypt, but had an insatiable thirst for news
      about this new culture that they were coming into contact with. It is
      understandable that H would try to make the bewildering array of
      Egyptian gods and practices comprehensible to them by relating them to
      the familiar Greek pantheon. Having said this though, it was also H's
      belief that the Greek pantheon came from the Egyptian pantheon, and H
      was not the first writer to notice the similarity between Osiris/Isis
      myths with the Demeter myths. Plutarch said that they are the same.
      For H to discover these similarities, I believe that he would have had
      to talk to the bilingual Egyptian priest/scribes who would have been
      eager to make their culture understandable to the Greeks, and
      explained the Isis myth to H. How else would H have learned enough
      about Isis to make this comparison? It was more than mere syncretism.
      There is one instance where both Isis and Demeter place a baby in a
      fire to purify it and turn it into a god. This seems much too specific
      an example of the similarity in the myths to account for it by a
      chance similarity in gods that arose in both cultures independently.

    • Wayne
      The Middle region, when you separate the light from the darkness you enter into the Twilight Zone, the World of the Imagination, Freedom of Mind, Divine Will.
      Message 170 of 170 , Jun 5, 2003
        The Middle region, when you separate the light from the darkness
        you enter into the Twilight Zone, the World of the Imagination,
        Freedom of Mind, Divine Will.

        To Truly be Good you must be Free from the knowledge, from having
        known, experienced wrong doing, you must be innocent.

        Innocence exists only when there is no Evil, a long as Evil exist
        Good is Evil and Evil is good, there is no innocence.

        In between the Light and the Darkness, Parallel Universes, the Two
        Worlds of Reality, One the World of Reality as seen in the light of
        day, the Reality of the Moment, the Here and Now, Reality that exists
        independent of our thoughts concerning it and the World of the
        Imagination, the middle World, the World of Illusion, Sin; Reality as
        seen in the Second light of the Sun, Moon Light, where thinly veiled
        shadowy figures lurk in the Darkest corners of the Mind.

        By the light of the Silvery Moon, Light that is separated out of the
        Darkness, Twice light.

        Illusion Trice Light, Reality hauled up out of the darkest depths of
        the abyss, the imagination.

        A Lie is the Truth, an Illusion is a Reality, Evil is Good, Good is
        Evil, Good and Evil is Evil.

        Yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pessy@c... wrote:
        > > lady_caritas writes:
        > >
        > > > contained in this line, "Within the present world, (reputedly)
        > there
        > > > is good and there is evil, (but) the world's goods are not
        > (really)
        > > > good, and its evils not (really) evil." IOW, "reputedly"
        > > > or "allegedly" or "so they say" makes me wonder. Would this
        > a
        > > > Valentinian recounting a more literal, traditional notion of
        > > > opposites, "good" and "evil," in comparison to a conception of
        > the
        > > > world not being (really) black and white? Or OTOH might this
        > a
        > > > heresiologist relating a view secondhand or rather a novice
        > entering
        > > > an initiation process or even a Valentinian not entirely
        > convinced or
        > > > in agreement about the concepts of good and evil? Regardless,
        > > > think we can at least glean some Valentinian ideas from this
        > passage,
        > > > as it speaks to hylic, psychic, and pneumatic natures, and it
        > > > certainly reiterates a common theme of resurrection now in
        > > > lifetime, not waiting for some later time.
        > >
        > >
        > > no, it just merans that the world is evil, and good is out of the
        > world,
        > > whereas Zoroastrians see good and bad residing in the world.
        > >
        > >
        > > Klaus Schilling
        > Klaus, I suppose that is also a very likely interpretation. (My
        > sentence of that paragraph was referring not only to the line just
        > previously discussed about "good" and "evil," but to other comments
        > in the GPh passage as a whole.) However, I guess my point was,
        > perhaps we could only assume the line related to Zoroastrian
        > when no direct mention is made of them and we don't even know the
        > original source or context of this whole passage. And, where does
        > the passage say that this world is only "evil," as you interpret?
        > do you think it is implied somehow?
        > Also, considering your interpretation of that line, how does that
        > within the context of the remainder of the passage, with the author
        > defining the "midpoint" -- "**after** this world" -- as "evil"?
        > Cari
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