Akrōtēriazein

DcLSrtp

This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Ταῦτα μὲν οὖν εἰς ἀκοὰς ἦλθε τὰς ἡμετέρας, ἀρχαιολογούμενα παρὰ θεσπεσίοις ἀνδράσιν, οἳ τὰ Μωυσέως οὐ παρέργως διηρεύνησαν. ἐγὼ δὲ πρὸς τοῖς εἰρημένοις καὶ σύμβολον ἡγοῦμαι τὴν περιτομὴν δυοῖν εἶναι τοῖν ἀναγκαιοτάτοιν· ἑνὸς μὲν ἡδονῶν ἐκτομῆς, αἳ καταγοητεύουσι διάνοιαν· ἐπειδὴ γὰρ τὰ νικητήρια φέρεται τῶν ἐν ἡδοναῖς φίλτρων ἡ ἀνδρὸς πρὸς γυναῖκα συνουσία, τὸ ὑπηρετοῦν ταῖς τοιαύταις ὁμιλίαις ὄργανον ἀκρωτηριάζειν ἔδοξε τοῖς νομοθέταις, αἰνιττομένοις περιτομὴν περιττῆς ἐκτομὴν καὶ πλεοναζούσης ἡδονῆς, οὐ μιᾶς, ἀλλὰ διὰ μιᾶς τῆς βιαστικωτάτης καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἁπασῶν· ἑτέρου δὲ τοῦ γνῶναί τινα ἑαυτὸν καὶ τὴν βαρεῖαν νόσον, οἴησιν, ψυχῆς ἀπώσασθαι· ἔνιοι γὰρ ὡς ἀγαθοὶ ζῳοπλάσται ζῴων τὸ κάλλιστον, ἄνθρωπον, ηὔχησαν δύνασθαι δημιουργεῖν καὶ φυσηθέντες ὑπ’ ἀλαζονείας ἑαυτοὺς ἐξεθείωσαν, τὸν ὡς ἀληθῶς αἴτιον γενέσεως ὄντα θεὸν παρακαλυψάμενοι, καίτοι γε ἐκ τῶν συνήθων ἐπανορθώσασθαι τὴν ἀπάτην δυνάμενοι· πολλοὶ μὲν γὰρ παρ’ αὐτοῖς εἰσιν ἄνδρες ἄγονοι, πολλαὶ δὲ στεῖραι γυναῖκες, ὧν ἀτελεῖς αἱ ὁμιλίαι καταγηρασάντων ἐν ἀπαιδίᾳ. πονηρὰν οὖν δόξαν ἐκτμητέον τῆς διανοίας καὶ τὰς ἄλλας ὅσαι μὴ φιλόθεοι.
(Philo, Peri tōn en merei diatagmatōn 1.8-12)

These are the explanations handed down to us from the old-time studies of divinely gifted men who made deep research into the writings of Moses. To these I would add that I consider circumcision to be a symbol of two things most necessary to our well-being. One is the excision of pleasures which bewitch the mind. For since among the love-lures of pleasure the palm is held by the mating of man and woman, the legislators thought good to dock the organ which ministers to such intercourse, thus making circumcision the figure of the excision of excessive and superfluous pleasure, not only of one pleasure but of all the other pleasures signified by one, and that the most imperious. The other reason is that a man should know himself and banish from the soul the grievous malady of conceit. For there are some who have prided themselves on their power of fashioning as witha sculptor’s cunning the fairest of creatures, man, and in their braggart pride assumed godship, closing their eyes to the Cause of all that comes into being, though they might find in their familiars a corrective for their delusion. For in their mindst are many men incapable of begetting and many women barren, whose matings are ineffective and who grow old childless. The evil belief, therefore, needs to be excised from the mind with any others that are not loyal to God. (tr. Francis Henry Colson)

Euodei

High Fountain

This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.

Ἓν μὲν χαλεπῆς νόσου καὶ δυσιάτου, ποσθένης, ἀπαλλαγήν, ἣν ἄνθρακα καλοῦσιν, ἀπὸ τοῦ καίειν ἐντυφόμενον, ὡς οἶμαι, ταύτης τῆς προσηγορίας τυχόντα, ὅπερ εὐκολώτερον τοῖς ἀκροποσθίας ἔχουσιν ἐγγίνεται· δεύτερον δὲ τὴν δι’ ὅλου τοῦ σώματος καθαριότητα πρὸς τὸ ἁρμόττον τάξει ἱερωμένῃ, παρὸ καὶ ξυρῶνται τὰ σώματα προσυπερβάλλοντες οἱ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ τῶν ἱερέων· ὑποσυλλέγεται γὰρ καὶ ὑποστέλλει καὶ θριξὶ καὶ ποσθίαις ἔνια τῶν ὀφειλόντων καθαίρεσθαι· τρίτον δὲ τὴν πρὸς καρδίαν ὁμοιότητα τοῦ περιτμηθέντος μέρους· πρὸς γὰρ γένεσιν ἄμφω παρεσκεύασται, τὸ μὲν ἐγκάρδιον πνεῦμα νοημάτων, τὸ δὲ γόνιμον ὄργανον ζῴων· ἐδικαίωσαν γὰρ οἱ πρῶτοι τῷ ἀφανεῖ καὶ κρείττονι, δι’ οὗ τὰ νοητὰ συνίσταται, τὸ ἐμφανὲς καὶ ὁρατόν, ᾧ τὰ αἰσθητὰ γεννᾶσθαι πέφυκεν, ἐξομοιῶσαι· τέταρτον δὲ καὶ ἀναγκαιότατον τὴν πρὸς πολυγονίαν παρασκευήν· λέγεται γὰρ ὡς εὐοδεῖ τὸ σπέρμα μήτε σκιδνάμενον μήτε περιρρέον εἰς τοὺς τῆς ποσθίας κόλπους· ὅθεν καὶ τὰ περιτεμνόμενα τῶν ἐθνῶν πολυγονώτατα καὶ πολυανθρωπότατα εἶναι δοκεῖ.
(Philo, Peri tōn en merei diatagmatōn 1.4-7)

One is that it secures exemption from the severe and almost incurable malady of the prepuce called anthrax or carbuncle, so named, I believe from the slow fire which it sets up and to which those who retain the foreskin are more susceptible. Secondly, it promotes the cleanliness of the whole body as befits the consecrated order, and therefore the Egyptians carry the practice to a further extreme and have the bodies of their priests shaved. For some substances which need to be cleared away collect and secrete themselves both in the hair and the foreskin. Thirdly, it assimilates the circumcised member to the heart. For as both are framed to serve for generation, thought being generated by the spirit force in the heart, living creatures by the reproductive organ, the earliest men held that the unseen and superior element to which the concepts of the mind owe their existence should have assimilated to it the visible and apparent, the natural parent of the things perceived by sense. The fourth and most vital reason is its adaptation to give fertility of offspring, for we are told that its causes semen to travel aright without being scattered or dropped into the folds of the foreskin, and therefore the circumcised nations appear the most prolific and populous. (tr. Francis Henry Colson)

Tethnēke

Francisco de Goya, El Aquellare, 1798

Francisco de Goya, El Aquellare (1798)

Περὶ δὲ θανάτου τῶν τοιούτων ἀκήκοα λόγον ἀνδρὸς οὐκ ἄφρονος οὐδ’ ἀλαζόνος. Αἰμιλιανοῦ γὰρ τοῦ ῥήτορος, οὗ καὶ ὑμῶν ἔνιοι διακηκόασιν, Ἐπιθέρσης ἦν πατήρ, ἐμὸς πολίτης καὶ διδάσκαλος γραμματικῶν. οὗτος ἔφη ποτὲ πλέων εἰς Ἰταλίαν ἐπιβῆναι νεὼς ἐμπορικὰ χρήματα καὶ συχνοὺς ἐπιβάτας ἀγούσης· ἑσπέρας δ’ ἤδη περὶ τὰς Ἐχινάδας νήσους ἀποσβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα, καὶ τὴν ναῦν διαφερομένην πλησίον γενέσθαι Παξῶν· ἐγρηγορέναι δὲ τοὺς πλείστους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ πίνειν ἔτι δεδειπνηκότας· ἐξαίφνης δὲ φωνὴν ἀπὸ τῆς νήσου τῶν Παξῶν ἀκουσθῆναι, Θαμοῦν τινος βοῇ καλοῦντος, ὥστε θαυμάζειν. ὁ δὲ Θαμοῦς Αἰγύπτιος ἦν κυβερνήτης οὐδὲ τῶν ἐμπλεόντων γνώριμος πολλοῖς ἀπ’ ὀνόματος. δὶς μὲν οὖν κληθέντα σιωπῆσαι, τὸ δὲ τρίτον ὑπακοῦσαι τῷ καλοῦντι· κἀκεῖνον ἐπιτείνοντα τὴν φωνὴν εἰπεῖν “ὁπόταν γένῃ κατὰ τὸ Παλῶδες,
ἀπάγγειλον ὅτι Πὰν ὁ μέγας τέθνηκε.” τοῦτ’ ἀκούσαντας ὁ Ἐπιθέρσης ἔφη πάντας ἐκπλαγῆναι καὶ διδόντων ἑαυτοῖς λόγον εἴτε ποιῆσαι βέλτιον εἴη τὸ προστεταγμένον εἴτε μὴ πολυπραγμονεῖν ἀλλ’ ἐᾶν, οὕτως γνῶναι τὸν Θαμοῦν, εἰ μὲν εἴη πνεῦμα, παραπλεῖν ἡσυχίαν ἔχοντα, νηνεμίας δὲ καὶ γαλήνης περὶ τὸν τόπον γενομένης ἀνειπεῖν ὃ ἤκουσεν. ὡς οὖν ἐγένετο κατὰ τὸ Παλῶδες, οὔτε πνεύματος ὄντος οὔτε κλύδωνος, ἐκ πρύμνης βλέποντα τὸν Θαμοῦν πρὸς τὴν γῆν εἰπεῖν, ὥσπερ ἤκουσεν, ὅτι “ὁ μέγας Πὰν τέθνηκεν”. οὐ φθῆναι δὲ παυσάμενον αὐτὸν καὶ γενέσθαι μέγαν οὐχ ἑνὸς ἀλλὰ πολλῶν στεναγμὸν ἅμα θαυμασμῷ μεμιγμένον. οἷα δὲ πολλῶν ἀνθρώπων παρόντων ταχὺ τὸν λόγον ἐν Ῥώμῃ σκεδασθῆναι, καὶ τὸν Θαμοῦν γενέσθαι μετάπεμπτον ὑπὸ Τιβερίου Καίσαρος. οὕτω δὲ πιστεῦσαι τῷ λόγῳ τὸν Τιβέριον, ὥστε διαπυνθάνεσθαι καὶ ζητεῖν περὶ τοῦ Πανός· εἰκάζειν δὲ τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν φιλολόγους συχνοὺς ὄντας τὸν ἐξ Ἑρμοῦ καὶ
Πηνελόπης γεγενημένον.
(Plutarch, Peri tōn ekleloipotōn khrēstēriōn 419α-ε)

“As for death among such beings, I have heard the words of a man who was not a fool nor an impostor. The father of Aemilianus the orator, to whom some of you have listened, was Epitherses, who lived in our town and was my teacher in grammar. He said that once upon a time in making a voyage to Italy he embarked on a ship carrying freight and many passengers. It was already evening when, near the Echinades Islands, the wind dropped, and the ship drifted near Paxi. Almost everybody was awake, and a good many had not finished their after-dinner wine. Suddenly from the island of Paxi was heard the voice of someone loudly calling Thamus, so that all were amazed. Thamus was an Egyptian pilot, not known by name even to many on board. Twice he was called and made no reply, but the third time he answered; and the caller, raising his voice, said, ‘When you come opposite to Palodes, announce that Great Pan is dead.’ On hearing this, all, said Epitherses, were astounded and reasoned among themselves whether it were better to carry out the order or to refuse to meddle and let the matter go. Under the circumstances Thamus made up his mind that if there should be a breeze, he would sail past and keep quiet, but with no wind and a smooth sea about the place he would announce what he had heard. So, when he came opposite Palodes, and there was neither wind nor wave, Thamus from the stern, looking toward the land, said the words as he had heard them: ‘Great Pan is dead.’ Even before he had finished there was a great cry of lamentation, not of one person, but of many, mingled with exclamations of amazement. As many persons were on the vessel, the story was soon spread abroad in Rome, and Thamus was sent for by Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius became so convinced of the truth of the story that he caused an inquiry and investigation to be made about Pan; and the scholars, who were numerous at his court, conjectured that he was the son born of Hermes and Penelopê.” (tr. Frank Cole Babbitt)

Cadet

Colossus-of-Nero-1-1024x576

Quandiu stat Colisaeus, stat et Roma;
quando cadet Colisaeus, cadet et Roma.
quando cadet Roma, cadet et mundus.
(Pseudo-Bede, Excerptiones patrum &c., PL 94.543)

As long as the Colisaeus stands, so Rome stands.
When the Colisaeus falls, Rome falls too.
When Rome falls, the world falls too.
(tr. Brian Schmisek)

‘While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
And when Rome falls—the World.’
(tr. George Gordon ‘Lord’ Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage 4.145)

 

Defensor

Arnold Böcklin, Der Krieg, 1896
Arnold Boecklin, Der Krieg, 1896

Tristes nunc populi, Christe redemptor,
pacem suppliciter cerne rogantes,
threnos et gemitus, cerne dolorem,
maestis auxilium desuper affer.

dire namque fremens, en, furor atrox
gentis finitimae arva minatur
saeve barbarico murmure nostra
vastari, perminens ut lupus agnum.

defensor quis erit, ni prius ipse
succurras miserans, auctor Olympi?
humano generi crimina parcas,
affectos venia dones amare.

Abram praesidio perculit olim
reges quinque tuo, conditor aevi,
haud multis pueris nempe parentem
prostratis reducens hostibus atris.

Moyses gelidi aequora ponti
confidens populum torrida carpens
deduxit, refluens undaque hostem
extemplo rapiens occulit omnem.

trecentisque viris Amalecitas
deiecit Gedeon iussus adire,
oppressum populum vindice ferro
liberavit ope fretus opima.

haec tu, cunctipotens, omnia solus,
in cuius manibus sunt universa,
in te nostra salus, gloria in te,
occidis iterum vivificasque.

maior quippe tua gratia, Iesu,
quam sit flagitii copia nostri,
contritos nec enim maestaque corda,
clemens, vel humiles spernere nosti.

salva ergo tua morte redemptos,
salva suppliciter pacta petentes,
disrumpe frameas, spicula frange,
confringe clipeos bella volentum.

iam caelum gemitus scandat amarus,
iam nubes penetret vox lacrimarum
vatum, contritio plebis anhela;
salvator placidus, iam miserere.

(Anonymous, Tempore belli hymnus in supplicatione)

Christ Redeemer, Your people are sorrowful,
see how they in supplication beg for peace,
hear their groans and lamentations, mark their anguish,
bring succour to the afflicted from on high.

For, lo, raging fearfully the cruel fury
of the neighboring people threatens to destroy
our fields, savagely, with barbarian roar,
like the wolf that slays the lamb.

Who will be our protector, Lord of Olympus,
if You don’t come to our aid first in Your pity?
Forgive the human race its transgressions,
grant Your love to those You touch with Your grace.

With Your assistance Abraham once smote
five kings, o creator of the universe,
overthrowing the malicious foe and
returning to but few children their father.

Moses, relying on You, led his people
through the dried up waters of the frigid sea,
and the waves, flowing back, forthwith
dragged off and covered every enemy.

Gideon too, ordered to attack the Amalekites
with three hundred men, defeated them
with his vengeful sword and freed his oppressed people,
relying on Your ample support.

All this You did alone, omnipotent one,
You who hold the universe in Your hands.
In You lies our salvation, in You our glory,
whether you kill us or bring us back to life.

For Your grace, Jesus, is greater
than the multitude of our sins:
merciful one, You know not how to scorn
the remorseful, the despairing or the humble.

So save those whom by Your death You have redeemed,
save those who beg You to keep Your promises,
shatter the spears, crush the arrowheads,
and break the shields of those who lust for war.

Let our bitter plaint ascend to heaven,
let the tearful voice of the prophets and
the breathless repentance of your people penetrate
the clouds; peaceful saviour, have pity on us!

(tr. David Bauwens)

Indigitamentis

photoscom

Quid faciat laetas segetes, quo sidere terram
vertere, Maecenas, ulmisque adiungere vites
conveniat, quae cura boum, qui cultus habendo
sit pecori, apibus quanta experientia parcis,
hinc canere incipiam. vos, o clarissima mundi
lumina, labentem caelo quae ducitis annum;
Liber et alma Ceres, vestro si munere tellus
Chaoniam pingui glandem mutavit arista,
poculaque inventis Acheloia miscuit uvis;
et vos, agrestum praesentia numina, Fauni
(ferte simul Faunique pedem Dryadesque puellae:
munera vestra cano); tuque o, cui prima frementem
fudit equum magno tellus percussa tridenti,
Neptune; et cultor nemorum, cui pinguia Ceae
ter centum nivei tondent dumeta iuvenci;
ipse nemus linquens patrium saltusque Lycaei
Pan, ovium custos, tua si tibi Maenala curae,
adsis, o Tegeaee, favens, oleaeque Minerva
inventrix, uncique puer monstrator aratri,
et teneram ab radice ferens, Silvane, cupressum:
dique deaeque omnes, studium quibus arva tueri,
quique novas alitis non ullo semine fruges
quique satis largum caelo demittitis imbrem.
(Vergil, Georg. 1.1-23)

What makes the crops joyous, beneath what star, Maecenas, it is well to turn the soil, and wed vines to elms, what tending the cattle need, what care the herd in breeding, what skill the thrifty bees—hence shall I begin my song. O most radiant lights of the firmament, that guide through heaven the gliding year, O Liber and bounteous Ceres, if by your grace Earth changed Chaonia’s acorn for the rich corn ear, and blended draughts of Achelous with the new-found grapes, and you Fauns, the rustics’ ever present gods (come trip it, Fauns, and Dryad maids withal!), ’tis of your bounties I sing. And Neptune, for whom Earth, smitten by your mighty trident, first sent forth the neighing steed; you, too, spirit of the groves, for whom thrice a hundred snowy steers crop Cea’s rich thickets; you too, Pan, guardian of the sheep, leaving your native woods and glades of Lycaeus, as you love your own Maenalus, come of your grace, Tegean lord! Come, Minerva, inventress of the olive; you, too, youth, who showed to man the crooked plough; and you, Silvanus, with a young uprooted cypress in your hand; and gods and goddesses all, whose love guards our fields—both you who nurse the young fruits, springing up unsown, and you who on the seedlings send down from heaven plenteous rain! (tr. Henry Rushton Fairclough, revised by George Patrick Goold)

Quod autem dicit ‘studium quibus arva tueri’, nomina haec numinum in indigitamentis inveniuntur, id est, in libris pontificalibus, qui et nomina deorum et rationem ipsorum numinum continent, quae etiam Varro dicit. nam, ut supra diximus, nomina numinibus ex officiis constat imposita, verbi causa, ut ab occatione, deus Occator dicatur, a sarritione, deus Sarritor, a stercoratione Sterculinus, a satione Sator. Fabius Pictor hos deos enumerat, quos invocat Flamen sacrum Cereale faciens Telluri et Cereri: Vervactorem, Reparatorem, Inporcitorem, Insitorem, Obaratorem, Occatorem, Sarritorem, Subruncinatorem, Messorem, Convectorem, Conditorem, Promitorem.
(Servius, Comm. in Verg. Georg. 1.21)

As to the words ‘whose love guards our fields’, the names of these deities can be found in invocation formulas, that is to say, in the books of the priests thatcontain both the names of the gods and the aspects of their divinity, as Varro too says. For, as we have said earlier, it is quite obvious that names have been given to divine spirits in accordance with the function of the spirit. For example, Occator was so named after the word occatio, harrowing; Sarritor, after sarritio, hoeing; Sterculinus, after stercoratio, spreading manure; Sator, after satio, sowing. Fabius Pictor lists the following as deities whom the flamen of Ceres invokes when sacrificing to Mother Earth and Ceres: Vervactor (ploughing fallow), Reparator (replough), Imporcitor (make furrows), Insitor (sow), Obarator (plough up), Occator, Sarritor, Subruncinator (clear weeds), Messor (harvest), Convector (carry), Conditor (store) and Promitor (bring forth). (tr. Matthew Dillon & Linda Garland; first few lines tr. David Bauwens)