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Re: Ulansey/Re: [neoplatonism] Re: De Antro Nympharum

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  • Thomas Mether
    Some on the list might enjoy this. One Christmas, my middle son had a holiday school craft project. They were trying to encourage religious inclusivity and
    Message 1 of 36 , Dec 5, 2011
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      Some on the list might enjoy this. One Christmas, my middle son had a
      holiday school craft project. They were trying to encourage religious
      inclusivity and downplay Christian themes. He liked doing models and
      dioramas. He caused a minor stir in being pc.
      He did a Mithraic Nativity scene...
      On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM, Thomas Mether <thomas.r.mether@...>wrote:

      > Dennis,
      >
      > As to your second point, the hero figure slaying a Gorgon type of
      > serpent-headed tri-cephalic figure is well-attested in Indo-Iranian
      > materials as is Mithra slaying the cosmic bull at the end of time as a rite
      > of resurrection.
      > The above was my point to Ulansey.
      >
      > As to the relation of the Mithras cult to Iranian traditions, difficulties
      > begin with which Iranian traditions - Zoroastrian or nonZoroastrian? There
      > seems to be a spectrum of Indo-Iranian variations on mythic and liturgical
      > themes shared by nonZoroastrian and Zoroastrian traditions. Even if we deal
      > with just Zoroastrianism, the spectrum of "Zoroastrianisms" in Achmenian
      > times seems more pronounced in Hellenistic and Parthian times even if we
      > leave out the hornet's nest of "Zurvanism". We even seem to have variant,
      > perhaps regional or ethnic, differences of even what might be the same
      > "brand" of Zoroastrianism. For example, Armenia and Armenian
      > Zoroastrian distinguish between indigenous or Armenian Zoroastrianism and
      > "colonial" or imperial Zoroastrianism from Iran. Armenia has a strong
      > Mithra/Mihr/Meher cult, with physical remains of sites dedicated to Meher
      > born out of the rock, all over Armenia. Western parts of Armenian appear
      > more hellenized (including Greek inscriptions) while eastern parts are not.
      >
      > Questions at just this point: Were there degrees of hellenization in
      > Iranian lands? This is an under-explored question. Did hellenization begin
      > to modify Iranian-Armenian religions even on Iranian-Armenian turf like
      > Ptolemy did with the Osiris-Apis-Isis cult or as we see a confluence of
      > Zoroastrian and Buddhist motifs in a process of hellenization in Bactria?
      > Could there have been a hellenized and modified Mithra cult in a similar
      > fashion? This is another under-explored question. A foremost authority on
      > Armenian Zoroastrianism states that even a decent archaeological survey of
      > Armenian Zoroastrian cultic sites has not been done and even though there
      > are Mithra/Meher physical remains all over the place there has been no
      > study of their iconography. He suggests this is the necessary groundwork
      > that needs to be done first before the Iranian Mithra and Mithras cult
      > question can be adequately dealt with. This is James Russell.
      >
      > Gnostic and Buddhist authorities also argue Central Asia needs more study
      > on this issue because while connections between Iranian, Buddhist, and
      > Greek cultures are generally known, while the connections between the
      > Indian Mitra, Zoroastrian Mithra, and the Central Asian Tantric Buddhist
      > version of Maitreya Buddha and legends of Shambhalah are known, and
      > further, while Zoroastrian themes with Yima, Mithra, Ahura Mazda, Spenta
      > Mainyu, and Angra Mainyu show up in the (perhaps) pre-Buddhist religions of
      > Siberian and Mongolian Bo and Tibetan Bon -- do they come via
      > Manichaeanism?, Zoroastrianism (and which flavor)?, a hellenized Mithra
      > cult or Mithras cult carried east?, or some combination. If Manichaeanism
      > is a factor it has to be combined because it alone is too late because we
      > are speaking of second century BCE to the ninth century CE.
      >
      > I bring this up because there is an admitted "Irano-centric" focus in the
      > full spectrum of Iranian religions -- even Zoroastrianisms -- that those
      > dealing with Armenian, Afghanistani, Kushani, Sodgian, or Tajikistani
      > Zoroastrianism, relations of Mithra to Mithras, relations of Central Asian
      > Tantric Buddhist (the main forative place for it before it went into China
      > and Tibet) to Greek culture, Iranian religions, and Manichaeanism are all
      > too aware of contributing to other areas being under-researched.
      >
      > Back to the western end of things...
      >
      > Leaving the Armenian and Iranian cultural mileau, there more questions. To
      > the extent the Isis-Serapis cult underwent further modification as it
      > spread throughout the more Greek parts of the Hellenistic world and the
      > Roman empire, or to the extent the Dionysian Mysteries perhaps underwent
      > similar modfications, could a hypothesized hellenized Iranian-Armenian
      > Mithra/Mithras cult undergone further, purely Greek and Roman
      > modifications? Looking at these religions comparatively in their social
      > context, I think the answer is likely yes. So, even if there is a
      > connection, I suspect that an Anatolian Iranian would see the Roman Mithras
      > cult as being the same as the unhellenized Mithra cult much like a native
      > Egyptian would see the view the relation of the Isis-Serapis cult to the
      > Isis-Osiris-Apis cult.
      >
      > Back to grading.....
      >
      > Thomas
      >
      > On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 1:53 PM, vaeringjar <vaeringjar@...> wrote:
      >
      >> **
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> I am really busy right now, but I would like to follow all this up, but
      >> for one thing I read Ulansey's book like only once and that was 20 years
      >> ago! I recall there was some problem with the astronomy that was raised,
      >> but I rather recall his theory has not been totally dismissed either, by
      >> Mithraic scholars of repute, but I would like to understand this more, but
      >> I need to reread him.
      >>
      >> As for the Persian connection - argh - Mithraic scholars are still trying
      >> to figure that out. I think the problem more is, how much and exactly how
      >> is the Mithras of the cult related to the Persian religious complex. How
      >> much was conceived away from Iran.
      >>
      >> Thanks, both of you, for making these points.
      >>
      >>
      >> Dennis Clark
      >>
      >> --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Marilynn Lawrence <pronoia12@...>
      >> wrote:
      >> >
      >> > Thanks for posting this, Thomas. I know we had this conversation
      >> before. I would just add that even if Hipparchus 'discovered' the circular
      >> version of precession of the equinoces, Ulansey's use of zodiacal symbolism
      >> from precession was anachronistic. There's no evidence that this idea was
      >> floating around in the culture, and everywhere a monumental cosmic cycle is
      >> discussed, it is about the period it would take for the planets (not the
      >> zodiac) to return (or align) with there original (and ideal) positions
      >> relative to the zodiac (this was especially aligned with Stoic ekpurosis
      >> and apokatastasis). I don't remember the exact period in history when
      >> zodiacal ages became a phenomenon, but I think it was around the 17th or
      >> 18th century.
      >> >
      >> > Marilynn
      >> >
      >> > On Dec 5, 2011, at 11:01 AM, Thomas Mether <t_mether@...> wrote:
      >> >
      >> > > I was at the pacific Division AAR meeting at Santa Clara University
      >> when Ulansey's book first came out (with a summary article in Biblical
      >> Archaeology). Marvin Meyer chaired it. There were two main objections at
      >> the time to Ulansey's book. One was brought up by astronomers. The other
      >> one was brought up by yours truly. I was not originally on the program but
      >> Marvin Meyer was introduced to me, saw what I had, and arranged time for me
      >> to speak from the floor impromptu.
      >> > >
      >> > > The first objection came from astronomers with some training in
      >> classics. Hipparchus could not have discovered the precession. Rather, he
      >> only came up with a formula to "predict it". But in order to do that, there
      >> would have had to been observational data for it to comply with, and in
      >> order to have enough observational data to know it is a repeat event or
      >> cyclical event (remember, Halley's comet is named after Halley because it
      >> was not known until he figured it out that it was the same comet
      >> returning), precession would have had to have been known as an observed
      >> phenomenon for a very long time before Hipparchus.
      >> > >
      >> > > The second objection, raised by me, was Ulansey's claim there was no
      >> Zoroastrian background to the Mithras cult contrary to Cumont.
      >> Specifically, Ulansey claimed there is no myth of Mithra slaying the Bull
      >> in Zoroastrianism. Rather it is Ahriman. Wrong. There are two
      >> interconnected bull-slaying episodes in Zoroastrian myth. Both are attested
      >> in early Indo-Iranian (Vedic and Avestan), early Avestan, Middle Persian,
      >> and later epic Persian strata. The first is a slaying of the cosmic bull at
      >> the beginning of this fallen age of mixture (gumescisn) by
      >> Yima/Jimshid/Ahriman (Yima is the fallen agent of Angra Mainyu) which is
      >> the founding event of the Zoroastrian "false new year" or Nowruz. It looks
      >> back to the fall of Yima and end of the golden age. Actually, Gayomart was
      >> originally a state personified. The fall of Yima coinciding with the attack
      >> of Angra Mainyu brings about "mortalized life" or gayo maretan. The fall of
      >> Yima/Jimshid consisted in his being
      >> > > tempted to "rush the eschaton" by prematurely slaying the cosmic bull
      >> that is supposed to renew creation at the end of time. In other words, to
      >> spring the trap that would ensnare Angra Mainyu too soon. The throne of
      >> Yima is immediately taken over by the three-snake-headed usurper of his
      >> throne, Azi Dahaka/Zohak (Ahriman incarnate), whose serpentine heads eat
      >> human flesh or petrify defiant humans. This reign ends with
      >> Verethragn/Feridun killing him (in Vedic materials, this episode has as its
      >> cast of characters Yama, Asi Dasa/Vrtra, Vrtrahan, Mitra and in Armenian
      >> materials the cast of characters are Yimsheed, Zohak,
      >> Vahagn/Feridun/Perseus, Mihr). Yima (in Vedic materials, Yama) repents and
      >> build the underworld vara (place of stasis and ancestors) under the world
      >> Mountain (Indian Meru, Zoroastrian Hara) in the celestial north as refugee
      >> for the bitter world winter or withering period. He becomes in both Vedic
      >> and Zoroastrian materials the king and
      >> > > judge of the dead in the underworld. Meanwhile, Verethragn/Feridun
      >> (in Vedic materials, Vrtrahan, in Armenian, Vahagn/Perseus) restores order
      >> and institutes the second "true new year" that looks forward to the
      >> Frashkart or renewal of creation at the end of time or the end of this age
      >> of mixture of good and evil or gumescisn. This is second the Zoroastrian
      >> "new year" of Mihragan. At the end of time, the third Saoshyant (Zoroatrian
      >> messiah) and Mithra slay the cosmic bull, press the white Haoma (Vedic
      >> Soma), resurrect all beings and give them immortality from the reborn bull
      >> and Haoma. So, in effect, there is a bull-slaying at the beginning of this
      >> world age of mixture or gumescisn and a second bull-slaying with Mithra at
      >> the end of this world age. Ulansey should have consulted with Iranologists
      >> before making statements about what is and is not found in Zoroastrian
      >> materials. Remanants of this mythic narrative are found throughout the
      >> Iranian, Scythian,
      >> > > Sarmatian, and Slavic cultural mileau.
      >> > >
      >> > > From: vaeringjar <vaeringjar@...>
      >> > > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      >> > > Sent: Saturday, December 3, 2011 8:43 PM
      >> > > Subject: [neoplatonism] Re: De Antro Nympharum
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > > And as you well know, Marilynn, Porphyry has lots more astrological
      >> discussion in de Antro, and so much about Mithras in this regard. David
      >> Ulansey wrote a fascinating book about a particular astrological reading of
      >> the Mithraic cult, though it has not been universially accepted, still is
      >> fascinating.
      >> > >
      >> > > Here is an online version of his article on the hypercosmic sun and
      >> Mithras - someone had been asking about Julian's work on the sun, so this
      >> would be of interest too:
      >> > >
      >> > > http://www.well.com/user/davidu/appendix2.html
      >> > >
      >> > > Which reminds me to go back and read all of Turcan's Mithras
      >> Platonicus, which I have been meaning to get through.
      >> > >
      >> > > Dennis Clark
      >> > >
      >> > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Marilynn Lawrence <pronoia12@>
      >> wrote:
      >> > > >
      >> > > > This is further supported by the astrology that Porphyry was well
      >> acquainted with. The south point was at the top of the visual map of a
      >> horoscope. if you are looking for the symbols for these points, I don't
      >> recall seeing the Midheaven and Nadir, but the Ascendant (east point) was
      >> represented by Eta for Horoskopos, and the West by Delta for Dusis.
      >> > > >
      >> > > > On Dec 2, 2011, at 5:59 PM, Thomas Mether <t_mether@> wrote:
      >> > > >
      >> > > > > Astronomically, and embedded in ancient religions rituals in the
      >> northern hemisphere, the sun travels
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > in the south. Vedic religion, five prayers a day east, southeast,
      >> south, southwest, west. The solar path of the gods leading to immortality
      >> connects up with the sun and milky way direct; the lunar path of the
      >> fathers creeps around the south. Of the three fires in Vedic and ancient
      >> Roman ritual, the home fire is center (low and round like the Vestal fire),
      >> celestial sacrificial fire is square/cubic and elevated (the Roman aria) in
      >> the east, and the fire of the ancestors (good and bad in both cults --
      >> Roman Volcanus) is in the southwest. The same layout in Zoroastrianism with
      >> a solar route around the south of the world mountain Mt Hara towards
      >> immortality along the milky way leading out through the celestial north.
      >> Otherwise, lunar souls descend to the underworld realm of Yima (Vedic Yama)
      >> under the same mount in the north. The five daily prayers of Zoroastrians
      >> are east, south east, south, southwest, and west. Chinese religion
      >> (Confucian and Taoist),
      >> > > the
      >> > > > > supreme Lord on High, Shang-ti or Jade Emperor is at the
      >> celestial north. The court is the big dipper. The milky way is the path to
      >> the big dipper and celestial north/exit to immortality in the Tao. Prayers
      >> and sacrifices have the same times and orientations vis a vis the south or
      >> east-south-west. Incidentally, all these religions (whose symbolism is in
      >> the philosophical texts mentioned) worship of the ancestors, which is
      >> usually daily, has a special significane on the new and full moon monthly.
      >> But, as a solar orientation, the route of ascent and immortality,
      >> Indo-European religions (I mentioned ancient Vedic, Roman, Zoroastrian
      >> religions) the sacrificial and prayer orientation is east, south, west --
      >> course of the sun.
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > Thomas
      >> > > > > From: Empedotimos <empedotimos@>
      >> > > > > To: "neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com" <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
      >>
      >> > > > > Sent: Friday, December 2, 2011 2:22 AM
      >> > > > > Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: De Antro Nympharum
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > Thank you very much Dennis!
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > ---------------
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > http://www.empedotimos.blogspot.com
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > ________________________________
      >> > > > > From: vaeringjar <vaeringjar@>
      >> > > > > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      >> > > > > Sent: Friday, December 2, 2011 8:06 AM
      >> > > > > Subject: [neoplatonism] Re: De Antro Nympharum
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > Was just looking at this, at the two editions I have of de Antro,
      >> and there is no note in either, but throughout Porphyry is referring to the
      >> directions also as the winds, Notos in this case, the South wind, not
      >> really the sun itself in this particular sentence, but he does associate
      >> the South with the Sun thereafter, also as the gateway for souls to ascend,
      >> as in Plato.
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > So I don't know that beyond the personifications, if you will, as
      >> winds, that there is any other main symbol here for each direction, but
      >> obviously he is presenting much more or less symbolic, if you will,
      >> interpretation here in this work.
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > Anyone else have any ideas here?
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > I did cite that passage in de Antro, a little further on, in my
      >> article about the Egyptian theology in de Mysteriis, where Porphyry speaks
      >> of the appropriateness silence when worshipping the highest gods, for
      >> Iamblichus says this also about Heikton, and I do think I was the first to
      >> note the simliarity in both passages (ok, that was boastful, but I was
      >> happy I caught that one in three separate texts. Good old philology, in a
      >> simple way, right?). Porphyry says something similar in de Abstinentia, so
      >> when we pass that gate to heaven, he thinks we should keep our mouths shut!
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > I will try to remember that...once a chatterbox, always a...!
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > Dennis Clark
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Empedotimos <empedotimos@>
      >> wrote:
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > > > In De Antro Nympharum 27.1, Porphyry says that "the ancients
      >> placed a symbol of midday and of the south in the gates of the temples"
      >> > > > > > ("ἱστᾶσιν οὖν Ï„á½¸ÏƒÏ Î¼Î²Î¿Î»Î¿Î½ τῆς
      >> Î¼ÎµÏƒÎ·Î¼Î²Ï Î¯Î±Ï‚ καὶτοῦνότου ἠπὶτῇ Î¸Ï Ï
      >> á¾³Î¼ÎµÏƒÎ·Î¼Î²Ï Î¹Î¬Î¶Î¿Î½Ï„Î¿Ï‚ τοῦθεοῦ")
      >> > > > > > Does Porphyry here refer to the symbol of the Sun or to some
      >> other symbol? Are there any other references elsewhere in the texts about
      >> the symbols of the four directions(gates) ?
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > > > ---------------
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > > > http://www.empedotimos.blogspot.com
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >> > > > > >
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >> > > > >
      >> > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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      >> > > > >
      >> > > >
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      >> > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >> > > >
      >> > >
      >> > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >> >
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • roger_pearse
      It looks very interesting, but it s frustrating too, in that accessing it will be a pain. This whole idea of paper publication in a limited edition of 200
      Message 36 of 36 , Dec 10, 2011
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        It looks very interesting, but it's frustrating too, in that accessing it will be a pain. This whole idea of paper publication in a limited edition of 200 copies max, in the age of the internet, never seemed more absurd.

        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Goya" <goya@...> wrote:
        >
        > Just published:
        >
        > Collection des Études Augustiniennes
        > Série Antiquité - 190
        > LE TRAITÉ DE PORPHYRE CONTRE LES CHRÉTIENS
        > Un siècle de recherches, nouvelles questions
        > Actes du colloque international organisé les 8 et 9 septembre 2009 à
        > l'Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne
        > édités par Sébastien MORLET
        > Institut d'Études Augustiniennes PARIS
        > 2011
        >
        >
        >
        > TABLE DES MATIÈRES
        > PRÉFACE
        > .................................................................................................................
        > 7
        > LE TEXTE DU CONTRA CHRISTIANOS
        > Sébastien MORLET, Comment le problème du Contra Christianos peut-il
        > se poser aujourd'hui
        > ?.......................................................................................
        > 11 André LAKS, Fragments. Réflexions à propos de l'édition Harnack
        > du Contre les chrétiens de Porphyre
        > ................................................................ 51 Ariane
        > MAGNY, Méthodologie et collecte des fragments de Porphyre
        > sur le Nouveau Testament chez Jérôme
        > ........................................................... 59 Olivier
        > MUNNICH, Recherche de la source porphyrienne dans les
        > objections « païennes » du Monogénès : l'enjeu des citations scripturaires
        > ..... 75 L'ARGUMENTATION ANTICHRÉTIENNE DE PORPHYRE
        > Marco ZAMBON, Porfirio e Origene, uno status
        > quaestionis.............................107
        > Aaron P. JOHNSON, Porphyry's
        > Hellenism.........................................................165
        > Bernard POUDERON, Le fragment 78 Harnack (101 Ramos Jurado) du
        > Contra Christianos de Porphyre et la question de la «tolérance»
        > chrétienne d'après Ex 22, 27 LXX
        > ................................................................183
        > Richard GOULET, Porphyre et Macarios de Magnésie sur la toute-puissance
        > de
        > Dieu...........................................................................................................205
        > John Granger COOK, Porphyry's Contra Christianos and
        > the crimen nominis Christianorum
        > ................................................................ 231
        > Luc BRISSON, Le Christ comme Lógos suivant Porphyre
        > dans Contre les chrétiens (fragment 86 von Harnack =
        > Théophylacte, Enarr. in Joh., PG 123, col. 1141)
        > ......................................... 277
        > José M. ZAMORA, Ἄνθρωπος
        > γενόμενος̣ : la divinité
        > du Christ
        > dans le Contra Christianos de
        > Porphyre........................................................291
        > 462 TABLE DES MATIÈRES LA POSTÉRITÉ DU CONTRA CHRISTIANOS
        > Volker Henning DRECOLL, Existe-t-il des traces de l'argumentation
        > antichrétienne de Porphyre dans l'œuvre de Grégoire de
        > Nysse?.................307
        > Régis COURTRAY, Porphyre et le livre de Daniel au travers du
        > Commentaire sur Daniel de
        > Jérôme...............................................................329
        > Claudio ZAMAGNI, Porphyre est-il la cible principale des
        > « questions » chrétiennes des IVe et Ve siècles ?
        > .............................................. 357
        > Isabelle BOCHET, Les quaestiones attribuées à Porphyre
        > dans la Lettre 102
        > d'Augustin........................................................................371
        > Gillian CLARK, Acerrimus inimicus? Porphyry and the City of
        > God.................395 Jean BOUFFARTIGUE, Porphyre et Julien contre les
        > chrétiens :
        > intentions, motifs et méthodes de leurs écrits
        > ................................................ 407
        > CONCLUSIONS
        > ....................................................................................................427
        > BIBLIOGRAPHIE
        > ..................................................................................................
        > 433 INDEX
        > BIBLIQUE.................................................................................................439
        > INDEX DES AUTEURS ANCIENS ET
        > MÉDIÉVAUX..................................................443 TABLE DES
        > MATIÈRES.........................................................................................461
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Michael Chase
        > CNRS UPR 76
        > Paris-Villejuif
        > France
        >
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