Emperor Julian 330 - 363 33
About Me
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Chapters 88
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1 Main Collection 83 145.4 2:01:10
1 3 from Gaul To Priscus .7 0.
2 358-35 from Gaul To Priscus 1.2 0.
3  3 from Gaul To Eumenius and Pharianus 1.2 0.
4 358-9 from Paris To Oribasius 3 0.
5  358-9 Winter from Paris To Priscus .9 0.
6 3 Before July, from Gaul To Alypius, brother of Caesarius  1.1 0.
7  To the Same 1 0.
8 36 November, from Naissa (Nish) To Maximus, the philosopher 3 0.
9 36 Late Nov. or Dec. from Naissa To his Uncle Julian  .8 0.
10 3 About December From Naissa To Eutherius  .3 0.
11 3 From Naissa or Constantinople To Leontius .6 0.
12   3or 36 From Constantinople To the philosopher Maximus .6 0.
13 3 Constantinople To Hermogenes, formerly Prefect of Egypt .9 0.
14 End of 3 or early in 36 Constantinople To Prohaeresius .7 0.
15 3 Jan Constantinople To Bishop Aetius  .4 0.
16  3 or 36 Constantinople To the High-priest Theodorus  2.9 0.
17 3 early. Constantinople To Zeno .9 0.
18 3 Const To an Official 2.2 0.
19 3 or early in 3 To a Priest  3.3 0.
20 36 before May 1Constantinople To the High-priest Theodorus 3.3 0.
21 36 Jan. Constantinople Emperor Julian Caesar, most Mighty Augustus, to the People of Alexandria 3.2 0.
22 36 on his way to Antioch in June? To Arsacius, High-priest of Galatia 3 0.
23  3 end of January, Constantinople To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt  1 0.
24 36 Constantinople To the Alexandrians, an Edict  .7 0.
25 36 Constantinople To Evagrius 2.2 0.
26 36 Constantinople To Basil 1.4 0.
27  3 Constantinople To Thracians  .9 0.
28 36 Constantinople On behalf of the Argives; unaddressed 6.1 0.
29 3 Constantinople To Uncle Julian 4 0.
30 3 Constantinople To Philip 1.5 0.
31 36 May 1from Constantinople. A decree concerning Physicians .4 0.
32 3 Constantinople, or from Antioch in the autumn. To priestess Theodora 2.2 0.
33 36 about the same date as Letter 3 To the most reverend Theodora .3 0.
34 3 To Theodora? .4 0.
35  36 June, on the way to Antioch. To Aristoxenus, a Philosopher 1 0.
36 36 after June 1from Antioch. Rescript on Christian Teachers  3.2 0.
37 36 Constantinople or Antioch. To Atarbius .4 0.
38 3 From Antioch to Porphyrius  .6 0.
39 3 Probably from Antioch. To the citizens of Byzacium .3 0.
40 3or 36 Antioch. To Hecebolius 1 0.
41 36 August 1st, Antioch. To the citizens of Bostra 3.8 0.
42 36 Antioch. To Callixeine  .8 0.
43 36 Antioch. To Eustathius the Philosopher .7 0.
44 36 Antioch. To Eustathius .6 0.
45 36 October, from Antioch. To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt .4 0.
46 36 about October, from Antioch. To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt .8 0.
47 36 Nov. or Dec. from Antioch. To the Alexandrians 4.1 0.
48 Early 36 from Antioch. To the Alexandrians 1.6 0.
49 3 or early in 36from Antioch. To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt  .8 0.
50  362-36 Winter, from Antioch. To Nilus, surnamed Dionysius  10.7 0.
51 Late 3or early 36 Antioch. To the community of the Jews  1.8 0.
52 Winter 36 Antioch. To Libanius .8 0.
53 36 Winter at Antioch. To Libanius  1.4 0.
54 36 from Antioch. To Eustochius .8 0.
55 To Photinus 1.6 0.
56 3 Antioch. Edict on Funerals  3.6 0.
57 36 Antioch, just before Julian's Persian campaign. To Arsaces, Satrap of Armenia 1.4 0.
58 36 Mar. from Hierapolis. To Libanius, Sophist and Quaestor 4.6 0.
59 To Maximus the Philosopher  .9 0.
60  To Eugenius  1 0.
61 To Sopater  .6 0.
62 To Eucleides the Philosopher  1.2 0.
63 To Hecebolius 1.3 0.
64 To Lucian the Sophist .2 0.
65 To Elpidius, a Philosopher .5 0.
66  To George, a Revenue Official  1.2 0.
67 To George, a Revenue Official  1.5 0.
68 To Dositheus .4 0.
69 To Himerius 2.7 0.
70 To Diogenes  .6 0.
71 To Commander Gregory .3 0.
72 To Plutarch  .4 0.
73 To Maximinus .3 0.
74 To Iamblichus 2.5 0.
75 To Iamblichus 1.4 0.
76 To Iamblichus 1.8 0.
77 To Iamblichus 3.4 0.
78 To Iamblichus 5.4 0.
79 To Iamblichus 2.9 0.
80 To the most illustrious Sarapion 9.1 0.
81 To Basil 2 0.
82  Gallus Caesar to his brother Julian  1.5 0.
83 Eustathius the Philosopher to Julian .7 0.
1 Main Collection 83 145.4 2:01:10
1 - 1 3 from Gaul To Priscus

On receiving your letter I at once despatched Archelaus, and gave him letters to carry to you, and the passport, as you wished, for a longer time. If you are inclined to explore the ocean, everything, with the god's help, will be provided for you as you would wish, unless you dread the boorishness of the Gauls and the winter climate. This, however, will turn out as the god sees fit; but I swear to you by him who is the giver and preserver of all my good fortune that I desire to live only that I may in some degree be of use to you. When I say "you," I mean the true philosophers, and convinced as I am that you are one of these, how much I have loved and love you you well know, and how I desire to see you. May Divine Providence preserve you in health for many a year, my dearest and best beloved brother! I salute the admirable Hippia and your children.

1 - 2 358-35from Gaul To Priscus

As regards a visit to me from your good self, if you have it in mind, make your plans now, with the help of the gods, and exert yourself; for perhaps a little later I too shall have no time to spare. Hunt up for me all the writings of Iamblichus to his namesake. Only you can do this, for your sister's son-in-law owns a thoroughly revised version. And, if I am not mistaken, while I was writing this sentence, a marvellous sign was vouchsafed me. I entreat you not to let Theodorus and his followers deafen you too by their assertions that Iamblichus, that truly godlike man, who ranks next to Pythagoras and Plato, was worldly and self-seeking. But if it be rash to declare my own opinion to you, I may reasonably expect you to excuse me, as one excuses those who are carried away by a divine frenzy. You are yourself an ardent admirer of Iamblichus for his philosophy and of his namesake for his theosophy. And I too think, like Apollodorus, that the rest are not worth mentioning compared with those two. As for your collection of the works of Aristotle, so much I will say, you have made me style myself your pupil, though I have no right to the title. For while Maximus of Tyre in six books was able to initiate me to some little extent into Plato's logic, you, with one book, have made me, perhaps I may even say, a complete initiate in the philosophy of Aristotle, but at any rate a thyrsus-bearer. When you join me I can prove the truth of my words by the great number of works that I wrote in my spare time, during last winter.

1 - 3 3 from Gaul To Eumenius and Pharianus

If anyone has persuaded you that there is anything more delightful or more profitable for the human race than to pursue philosophy at one's leisure without interruptions, he is a deluded man trying to delude you. But if your old-time zeal still abides in you and has not been swiftly quenched like a brilliant flame, then I regard you as peculiarly blest. Four years have already passed, yes and almost three months besides, since we parted from one another. It would give me pleasure to observe how far you have progressed in this period. As for my own progress, if I can still so much as speak Greek it is surprising, such a barbarian have I become because of the places I have lived in. Do not despise the study of mere words or be careless of rhetoric or fail to read poetry. But you must devote still more attention to serious studies, and let your whole effort be to acquire understanding of the teachings of Aristotle and Plato. Let this be your task, the base, the foundation, the edifice, the roof. For all other studies are by the way, though they are completed by you with greater zeal than some bestow on really important tasks. I call sacred Justice to witness that I give you this advice because I love you like brothers. For you were my fellow-students and my very good friends. If therefore you follow my advice I shall love you the more, but if I see that you disregard it I shall grieve. And grief, if it lasts, usually results in something that, for the sake of a happier augury, I forbear to mention.

1 - 4 358-9 from Paris To Oribasius

The divinely inspired Homer says that there are two gates of dreams, and that with regard to future events we cannot trust them both equally. But I think that this time, if ever before, you have seen clearly into the future; for I too this very day saw a vision of the same sort. I thought that in a certain very spacious room a tall tree had been planted, and that it was leaning down to the ground, while at its root had sprouted another, small and young and very flourishing. Now I was very anxious on behalf of the small tree, lest someone in pulling up the large one should pull it up as well. And in fact, when I came close I saw that the tall tree was lying at full length on the ground, while the small one was still erect, but hung suspended away from the earth. Now when I saw this I said, in great anxiety, "Alas for this tall tree! There is danger that not even its offspring will be preserved." Then one who was altogether a stranger to me said: "Look carefully and take courage. For since the root still remains in the earth, the smaller tree will be uninjured and will be established even more securely than before." So much then for my dreams. God knows what they portend.

As for that abominable eunuch, I should be glad to learn when he said these things about me, whether it was before he met me, or since. So tell me whatever you can about this.

But with regard to my behaviour towards him, the gods know that often, when he wronged the provincials, I kept silence, at the expense of my own honour; to some charges I would not listen, others I would not admit, others again I did not believe, while in some cases I imputed the blame to his associates. But when he thought fit to make me share in such infamy by sending to me to sign those shameful and wholly abominable reports, what was the right thing for me to do? Was I to remain silent, or to oppose him? The former course was foolish, servile and odious to the gods, the latter was just, manly and liberal, but was not open to me on account of the affairs that engaged me. What then did I do? In the presence of many persons who I knew would report it to him I said: "Such-a-one will certainly and by all means revise his reports, for they pass the bounds of decency." When he heard this, he was so far from behaving with discretion that he did things which, by heaven, no tyrant with any moderation would have done, and that too though I was so near where he was. In such a case what was the proper conduct for a man who is a zealous student of the teachings of Plato and Aristotle? Ought I to have looked on while the wretched people were being betrayed to thieves, or to have aided them as far as I could, for they were already singing their swan-song because of the criminal artifices of men of that sort? To me, at least, it seems a disgraceful thing that, while I punish my military tribunes when they desert their post — and indeed they ought to be put to death at once, and not even granted burial — I should myself desert my post which is for the defence of such wretched people; whereas it is my duty to fight against thieves of his sort, especially when God is fighting on my side, for it was indeed he who posted me here. And if any harm to myself should result, it is no small consolation to have proceeded with a good conscience. But I pray that the gods may let me keep the excellent Sallust! If, however, it turns out that because of this affair I receive his successor, perhaps it will not grieve me. For it is better to do one's duty for a brief time honestly than for a long time dishonestly. The Peripatetic teachings are not, as some say, less noble than the Stoic. In my judgement, there is only this difference between them; the former are always more sanguine and not so much the result of deliberate thought, while the latter have a greater claim to practical wisdom, and are more rigidly consistent with the rules of conduct that they have laid down.

1 - 5 358-9 Winter from Paris To Priscus

I had only just recovered by the providence of the All-Seeing One from a very severe and sharp attack of sickness, when your letters reached my hands, on the very day when I took my first bath. It was already evening when I read them, and it would be hard for you to tell how my strength began to return when I realised your pure and sincere affection. May I become worthy of it, that I may not shame your love for me! Your letters I read at once, though I was not very well able to do so, but those of Antonius to Alexander I stored up for the next day. On the seventh day from their receipt I began to write this to you, since my strength is improving reasonably well, thanks to Divine Providence. May the All-Seeing god preserve you, my dearest and best beloved brother. May I see you, my treasure! Added with his own hand. I swear by your well-being and my own, by the All-Seeing god, that I really feel as I have written. Best of men, when can I see you and embrace you? For already, like doting lovers, I adore your very name.

1 - 6 3Before July, from Gaul To Alypius, brother of Caesarius

Syloson, it is said, went up to Darius, reminded him of his cloak and asked him for Samos in return for it. Then Darius prided himself greatly on this, because he considered that he had given much for little; though after all it proved a grievous gift for Syloson. Now consider my conduct compared with that of Darius. In the first place I think that I have behaved better than he in one point at any rate, I mean that I did not wait to be reminded by another. But after preserving the memory of your friendship so long undimmed, the first moment that the god granted me power I summoned you, not among the second but among the very first. So much for the past. Now with reference to the future, will you allow me — for I am a prophet — to foretell something? I think that it will be far more prosperous than in the case I spoke of, only let not Adrasteia take offence when I say so! For you need no king to help you to conquer a city, while I on the other hand need many to help me to raise up again what has fallen on evil days. Thus does my Gallic and barbarian Muse jest for your benefit. But be of good cheer and come, and may the gods attend you.

Added with his own hand . There is good spoil of deer and hunting of small sheep in the winter quarters. Come to your friend who valued you even when he could not yet know your merit.

1 - 7 To the Same

It happened that when you sent me your map I had just recovered from my illness, but I was none the less glad on that account to receive the chart that you sent. For not only does it contain diagrams better than any hitherto made; but you have embellished it by adding those iambic verses, not such as "Sing the War of Bupalus," as the poet of Cyrene expresses it, but such as beautiful Sappho is wont to fashion for her songs. In fact the gift is such as no doubt it well became you to give, while to me it is most agreeable to receive. With regard to your administration of affairs, inasmuch as you study to act in all cases both energetically and humanely, I am well pleased with it. For to blend mildness and moderation with courage and force, and to exercise the former towards the most virtuous, and the latter implacably in the case of the wicked for their regeneration, is, as I am convinced, a task that calls for no slight natural endowment and virtue. I pray that you may ever hold fast to these ambitions and may adapt them both solely to what is fair and honourable. Not without reason did the most eloquent of the ancient writers believe that this is the end and aim set for all the virtues. May you continue in health and happiness as long as possible, my well-beloved and most dear brother!

1 - 8 36November, from Naissa (Nish) To Maximus, the philosopher

Everything crowds into my mind at once and chokes my utterance, as one thought refuses to let another precede it, whether you please to class such symptoms among psychic troubles, or to give them some other name. But let me arrange what I have to tell in chronological order, though not till I have first offered thanks to the all-merciful gods, who at this present have permitted me to write, and will also perhaps permit us to see one another. Directly after I had been made Emperor — against my will, as the gods know; and this I made evident then and there in every way possible, — I led the army against the barbarians. That expedition lasted for three months, and when I returned to the shores of Gaul, I was ever on the watch and kept enquiring from all who came from that quarter whether any philosopher or any scholar wearing a philosopher's cloak or a soldier's tunic had arrived there. Then I approached Besontio. It is a little town that has lately been restored, but in ancient times it was a large city adorned with costly temples, and was fortified by a strong wall and further by the nature of the place; for it is encircled by the river Doubis.It rises up like a rocky cliff in the sea, inaccessible, I might almost say, to the very birds, except in those places where the river as it flows round it throws out what one may call beaches, that lie in front of it. Near this city there came to meet me a certain man who looked like a Cynic with his long cloak and staff. When I first caught sight of him in the distance, I imagined that he was none other than yourself. And when I came nearer to him I thought that he had surely come from you. The man was in fact a friend of mine though he fell short of what I hoped and expected. This then was one vain dream I had! And afterwards I thought that, because you were busied with my affairs, I should certainly find you nowhere outside of Greece. Zeus be my witness and great Helios, mighty Athene and all the gods and goddesses, how on my way down to Illyricum from Gaul I trembled for your safety! Also I kept enquiring of the gods — not that I ventured to do this myself, for I could not endure to see or hear anything so terrible as one might have supposed would be happening to you at that time, but I entrusted the task to others; and the gods did indeed show clearly that certain troubles would befall you, nothing terrible however, nor to indicate that impious counsels would be carried out.

But you see that I have passed over many important events. Above all, it is right that you should learn how I became all at once conscious of the very presence of the gods, and in what manner I escaped the multitude of those who plotted against me, though I put no man to death, deprived no man of his property, and only imprisoned those whom I caught red-handed. All this, however, I ought perhaps to tell you rather than write it, but I think you will be very glad to be informed of it. I worship the gods openly, and the whole mass of the troops who are returning with me worship the gods. I sacrifice oxen in public. I have offered to the gods many hecatombs as thank-offerings. The gods command me to restore their worship in its utmost purity, and I obey them, yes, and with a good will. For they promise me great rewards for my labours, if only I am not remiss. Evagrius has joined me. . . . of the god whom we honour. . . .

Many things occur to my mind, besides what I have written, but I must store up certain matters to tell you when you are with me. Come here, then, in the name of the gods, as quickly as you can, and use two or more public carriages. Moreover, I have sent two of my most trusted servants, one of whom will escort you as far as my headquarters; the other will inform me that you have set out and will forthwith arrive. Do you yourself tell the youths which of them you wish to undertake which of these tasks.

1 - 9 36Late Nov. or Dec. from Naissa To his Uncle Julian

The third hour of the night has just begun, and as I have no secretary to dictate to because they are all occupied, I have with difficulty made the effort to write this to you myself. I am alive, by the grace of the gods, and have been freed from the necessity of either suffering or inflicting irreparable ill. But the Sun, whom of all the gods I besought most earnestly to assist me, and sovereign Zeus also, bear me witness that never for a moment did I wish to slay Constantius, but rather I wished the contrary. Why then did I come? Because the gods expressly ordered me, and promised me safety if I obeyed them, but if I stayed, what I pray no god may do to me! Furthermore I came because, having been declared a public enemy, I meant to frighten him merely, and that our quarrel should result in intercourse on more friendly terms; but if we should have to decide the issue by battle, I meant to entrust the whole to Fortune and to the gods, and so await whatever their clemency might decide.

1 - 10 3About December From Naissa To Eutherius

I am alive, and have been saved by the gods. Therefore offer sacrifices to them on my behalf, as thank-offerings. Your sacrifice will be not for one man only, but for the whole body of Hellenes.If you have time to travel as far as Constantinople I shall feel myself highly honoured by your presence.

1 - 11 3From Naissa or Constantinople To Leontius

The Thurian historian said that men's ears are less to be trusted than their eyes. But in your case I hold the opposite opinion from this, since here my ears are more trustworthy than my eyes. For not if I had seen you ten times would I have trusted my eyes as I now trust my ears, instructed as I have been by a man who is in no wise capable of speaking falsely, that, while in all respects you show yourself a man, you surpass yourself in your achievements "with hand and foot," as Homer says. I therefore entrust you with the employment of arms, and have despatched to you a complete suit of armour such as is adapted for the infantry. Moreover I have enrolled you in my household corps.

1 - 12 End of 3or early in 36From Constantinople To the philosopher Maximus

There is a tradition that Alexander of Macedon used to sleep with Homer's poems under his pillow, in order that by night as well as by day he might busy himself with his martial writings. But I sleep with your letters as though they were healing drugs of some sort, and I do not cease to read them constantly as though they w ere newly written and had only just come into my hands. Therefore if you are willing to furnish me with intercourse by means of letters, as a semblance of your own society, write, and do not cease to do so continually. Or rather come, with heaven's help, and consider that while you are away I cannot be said to be alive, except in so far as I am able to read what you have written.

1 - 36Dec.? Constantinople To Hermogenes, formerly Prefect of Egypt

Suffer me to say, in the language of the poetical rhetoricians, O how little hope had I of safety! O how little hope had I of hearing that you had escaped the three-headed hydra! Zeus be my witness that I do not mean my brother Constantius — nay, he was what he was — but the wild beasts who surrounded him and cast their baleful eyes on all men; for they made him even harsher than he was by nature, though on his own account he was by no means of a mild disposition, although he seemed so to many. But since he is now one of the blessed dead, may the earth lie lightly on him, as the saying is! Nor should I wish, Zeus be my witness, that these others should be punished unjustly; but since many accusers are rising up against them, I have appointed a court to judge them. Do you, my friend, come hither, and hasten, even if it task your strength. For, by the gods, I have long desired to see you, and, now that I have learned to my great joy that you are safe and sound, I bid you come.

1 - 14  End of 3or early in 36Constantinople To Prohaeresius

Why should I not address the excellent Prohaeresius, a man who has poured forth his eloquence on the young as rivers pour their floods over the plain; who rivals Pericles in his discourses, except that he does not agitate and embroil Greece? But you must not be surprised that I have imitated Spartan brevity in writing to you. For though it becomes sages like you to compose very long and impressive discourses, from me to you even a few words are enough. Moreover you must know that from all quarters at once I am inundated by affairs. As for the causes of my return,if you are going to write an historical account I will make a very precise report for you, and will hand over to you the letters, as written evidence. But if you have resolved to devote your energies to the last, till old age, to your rhetorical studies and exercises, you will perhaps not reproach me for my silence.

1 - 3Jan Constantinople To Bishop Aetius

I have remitted their sentence of exile for all in common who were banished in whatever fashion by Constantius of blessed memory, on account of the folly of the Galilaeans. But in your case, I not only remit your exile, but also, since I am mindful of our old acquaintance and intercourse, I invite you to come to me. You will use a public conveyance as far as my headquarters, and one extra horse.

1 - 16 36Jan. or end of 36Constantinople To the High-priest Theodorus

When I received your letter I was delighted, of course. How could I feel otherwise on learning that my comrade and dearest friend is safe? And when I had removed the fastening from it and perused it many times, I cannot convey to you in words my feelings and state of mind. I was filled with serenity and felicity and welcomed the letter as though I beheld in it an image, so to speak, of your noble disposition. To try to answer it point by point would take too long and perhaps I could not avoid excessive garrulity; but at any rate I shall not hesitate to say what it was that I especially approved. In the first place, the fact that the insolent behaviour to you of the Governor of Greece, if indeed a man of that sort can be called a Governor and not a tyrant, did not provoke your resentment, because you considered that none of these things had to do with you. Then again, that you are willing and eager to aid that city in which you had spent your time is a clear proof of the philosophic mind; so that in my opinion the former course is worthy of Socrates, the latter, I should say, of Musonius. For Socrates declared that heaven would not permit a righteous man to be harmed by anyone inferior to him and worthless, while Musonius concerned himself with the welfare of Gyara when Nero decreed his exile. These two points in your letter I approve, but I am at a loss how to take the third. For you write to urge me to warn you whenever I think that you yourself do or say anything out of tune. For my part I could give you many proofs that I believe myself to be more in need than you are of such advice at the present time, but I will put that off till later. However the request is perhaps not even suitable for you to make; for you have abundant leisure, excellent natural gifts, and you love philosophy as much as any man who ever lived. And these three things combined sufficed to make Amphion known as the inventor of ancient music, namely, leisure, divine inspiration and a love of minstrelsy. For not even the lack of instruments avails to offset these gifts, but one who had these three for his portion could easily invent instruments also. Indeed, have we not received the tradition by hearsay that this very Amphion invented not only harmonies, but besides these the lyre itself, by employing either an almost godlike intelligence or some gift of the gods in a sort of extraordinary co-operation with them? And most of the great ones of old seem to have attained to genuine philosophy by setting their hearts on these three things above all, and not to have needed anything else. Therefore it is you who ought to stand by me and in your letters show your willingness to advise me what I ought to do and what not. For we observe in the case of soldiers that it is not those of them who are at peace who need allies, but, I should say, those who are hard pressed in war, and in the case of pilots those who are not at sea do not call to their aid those who are at sea, but those who are navigating call on those who are at leisure. Thus it has from the very first seemed right that men who are at leisure should help and stand by those who are occupied with tasks, and should suggest the right course of action, that is whenever they represent the same interests. It is well, then, that you should bear this in mind and act towards me as you think I should act towards you, and, if you like, let us make this compact, that I am to point out to you what are my views concerning all your affairs, and you in return are to do the same for me concerning my sayings and doings. Nothing, in my opinion, could be more valuable for us than this reciprocity. May divine Providence keep you in good health for long to come, my well-beloved brother! May I see you soon, as I pray to do!

1 - 17 3early. Constantinople To Zeno

There is indeed abundant evidence of other kinds that you have attained to the first rank in the art of medicine and that your morals, uprightness and temperate life are in harmony with your professional skill But now has been added the crowning evidence. Though absent, you are winning to your cause the whole city of Alexandria. So keen a sting, like a bee's, have you left in her.This is natural; for I think that Homer was right when he said "One physician is worth many other men." And you are not simply a physician, but also a teacher of that art for those who desire to learn, so that I might almost say that what physicians are as compared with the mass of men, you are, compared with other physicians. This is the reason for putting an end to your exile, and with very great distinction for yourself. For if it was owing to George that you were removed from Alexandria, you were removed unjustly, and it would be most just that you should return from exile. Do you, therefore, return in all honour, and in possession of your former dignity. And let the favour that I bestow be credited to me by both parties in common, since it restores Zeno to the Alexandrians and Alexandria to you.

1 - 36before May 1Const To an Official

. . . is it not right to pay to human beings 3this respect that we feel for things made of wood? For let us suppose that a man who has obtained the office of priest is perhaps unworthy of it. Ought we not to show forbearance until we have actually decided that he is wicked, and only then by excluding him from his official functions show that it was the overhasty bestowal of the title of "priest" that was subject to punishment by obloquy and chastisement and a fine? If you do not know this you are not likely to have any proper sense at all of what is fitting. What experience can you have of the rights of men in general if you do not know the difference between a priest and a layman? And what sort of self-control can you have when you maltreated one at whose approach you ought to have risen from your seat? For this is the most disgraceful thing of all, and for it in the eyes of gods and men alike you are peculiarly to blame. Perhaps the bishops and elders of the Galilaeans sit with you, though not in public because of me, yet secretly and in the house; and the priest has actually been beaten by your order, for otherwise your high-priest would not, by Zeus, have come to make this appeal. But since what happened in Homer seems to you merely mythical, listen to the oracular words of the Lord of Didymus, that you may see clearly that, even as in bygone days he nobly exhorted the Hellenes in very deed, so too in later times he admonished the intemperate in these words: "Whosoever with reckless mind works wickedness against the priests of the deathless gods and plots against their honours with plans that fear not the gods, never shall he travel life's path to the end, seeing that he has sinned against the blessed gods whose honour and holy service those priests have in charge." Thus, then, the god declares that those who even deprive priests of their honours are detested by the gods, not to mention those who beat and insult them! But a man who strikes a priest has committed sacrilege. Wherefore, since by the laws of our fathers I am supreme pontiff, and moreover have but now received the function of prophecy from the god of Didymus, I forbid you for three revolutions of the moon to meddle in anything that concerns a priest. But if during this period you appear to be worthy, and the high-priest of the city so writes to me, I will thereupon take counsel with the gods whether you may be received by us once more. This is the penalty that I award for your rash conduct. As for curses from the gods, men of old in days of old used to utter them and write them, but I do not think that this was well done; for there is no evidence at all that the gods themselves devised those curses. And besides, we ought to be the ministers of prayers, not curses. Therefore I believe and join my prayers to yours that after earnest supplication to the gods you may obtain pardon for your errors.

1 - 19 3or early in 3To a Priest

I should never have favoured Pegasius unhesitatingly if I had not had clear proofs that even in former days, when he had the title of Bishop of the Galilaeans, he was wise enough to revere and honour the gods. This I do not report to you on hearsay from men whose words are always adapted to their personal dislikes and friendships, for much current gossip of this sort about him has reached me, and the gods know that I once thought I ought to detest him above all other depraved persons. But when I was summoned to his headquarters by Constantius of blessed memory I was travelling by this route, and after rising at early dawn I came from Troas to Ilios about the middle of the morning. Pegasius came to meet me, as I wished to explore the city, — this was my excuse for visiting the temples, — and he was my guide and showed me all the sights. So now let me tell you what he did and said, and from it one may guess that he was not lacking in right sentiments towards the gods.

Hector has a hero's shrine there and his bronze statue stands in a tiny little temple. Opposite this they have set up a figure of the great Achilles in the unroofed court. If you have seen the spot you will certainly recognise my description of it. You can learn from the guides the story that accounts for the fact that great Achilles was set up opposite to him and takes up the whole of the unroofed court. Now I found that the altars were still alight, I might almost say still blazing, and that the statue of Hector had been anointed till it shone. So I looked at Pegasius and said: "What does this mean? Do the people of Ilios offer sacrifices?" This was to test him cautiously to find out his own views. He replied: "Is it not natural that they should worship a brave man who was their own citizen, just as we worship the martyrs?" Now the analogy was far from sound; but his point of view and intentions were those of a man of culture, if you consider the times in which we then lived. Observe what followed. "Let us go," said he, "to the shrine of Athene of Ilios." Thereupon with the greatest eagerness he led me there and opened the temple, and as though he were producing evidence he showed me all the statues in perfect preservation, nor did he behave at all as those impious men do usually, I mean when they make the sign on their impious foreheads, nor did he hiss to himself as they do. For these two things are the quintessence of their theology, to hiss at demons and make the sign of the cross on their foreheads.

These are the two things that I promised to tell you. But a third occurs to me which I think I must not fail to mention. This same Pegasius went with me to the temple of Achilles as well and showed me the tomb in good repair; yet I had been informed that this also had been pulled to pieces by him. But he approached it with great reverence; I saw this with my own eyes. And I have heard from those who are now his enemies that he also used to offer prayers to Helios and worship him in secret. Would you not have accepted me as a witness even if I had been merely a private citizen? Of each man's attitude towards the gods who could be more trustworthy witnesses than the gods themselves? Should I have appointed Pegasius a priest if I had any evidence of impiety towards the gods on his part? And if in those past days, whether because he was ambitious for power, or, as he has often asserted to me, he clad himself in those rags in order to save the temples of the gods, and only pretended to be irreligious so far as the name of the thing went — indeed it is clear that he never injured any temple anywhere except for what amounted to a few stones, and that was as a blind, that he might be able to save the rest — well then we are taking this into account and are we not ashamed to behave to him as Aphobius did, and as the Galilaeans all pray to see him treated? If you care at all for my wishes you will honour not him only but any others who are converted, in order that they may the more readily heed me when I summon them to good works, and those others may have less cause to rejoice. But if we drive away those who come to us of their own free will, no one will be ready to heed when we summon.

1 - 20 36before May 1Constantinople To the High-priest Theodorus

I have written you a more familiar sort of letter than to the others, because you, I believe, have more friendly feelings than others towards me. For it means much that we had the same guide,and I am sure you remember him. A long time ago, when I was still living in the west, I learned that he had the highest regard for you, and for that reason I counted you my friend, and yet because of their excessive caution, I have usually thought these words well said,

"For I never met or saw him";

and well said is "Before we love we must know, and before we can know we must test by experience." But it seems that after all a certain other saying has most weight with me, namely, "The Master has spoken." That is why I thought even then that I ought to count you among my friends, and now I entrust to you a task that is dear to my heart, while to all men everywhere it is of the greatest benefit. And if, as I have the right to expect, you administer the office well, be assured that you will rejoice me greatly now and give me still greater good hope for the future life. For I certainly am not one of those who believe that the soul perishes before the body or along with it, nor do I believe any human being but only the gods; since it is likely that they alone have the most perfect knowledge of these matters, if indeed we ought to use the word "likely" of what is inevitably true; since it is fitting for men to conjecture about such matters, but the gods must have complete knowledge.

What then is this office which I say I now entrust to you? It is the government of all the temples in Asia, with power to appoint the priests in every city and to assign to each what is fitting. Now the qualities that befit one in this high office are, in the first place, fairness, and next, goodness and benevolence towards those who deserve to be treated thus. For any priest who behaves unjustly to his fellow men and impiously towards the gods, or is overbearing to all, must either be admonished with plain speaking or chastised with great severity. As for the regulations which I must make more complete for the guidance of priests in general, you as well as the others will soon learn them from me, but meanwhile I wish to make a few suggestions to you. You have good reason to obey me in such matters. Indeed in such a case I very seldom act offhand, as all the gods know, and no one could be more circumspect; and I avoid innovations in all things, so to speak, but more peculiarly in what concerns the gods. For I hold that we ought to observe the laws that we have inherited from our forefathers, since it is evident that the gods gave them to us. For they would not be as perfect as they are if they had been derived from mere men. Now since it has come to pass that they have been neglected and corrupted, and wealth and luxury have become supreme, I think that I ought to consider them carefully as though from their cradle. Therefore, when I saw that there is among us great indifference about the gods and that all reverence for the heavenly powers has been driven out by impure and vulgar luxury, I always secretly lamented this state of things. For I saw that those whose minds were turned to the doctrines of the Jewish religion are so ardent in their belief that they would choose to die for it, and to endure utter want and starvation rather than taste pork or any animal that has been strangled or had the life squeezed out of it; whereas we are in such a state of apathy about religious matters that we have forgotten the customs of our forefathers, and therefore we actually do not know whether any such rule has ever been prescribed. But these Jews are in part god-fearing, seeing that they revere a god who is truly most powerful and most good and governs this world of sense, and, as I well know, is worshipped by us also under other names. They act as is right and seemly, in my opinion, if they do not transgress the laws; but in this one thing they err in that, while reserving their deepest devotion for their own god, they do not conciliate the other gods also; but the other gods they think have been allotted to us Gentiles only, to such a pitch of folly have they been brought by their barbaric conceit. But those who belong to the impious sect of the Galilaeans, as if some disease . . .

1 - 36Jan. Constantinople Emperor Julian Caesar, most Mighty Augustus, to the People of Alexandria

If you do not revere the memory of Alexander, your founder, and yet more than him the great god, the most holy Serapis, how is it that you took no thought at least for the welfare of your community, for humanity, for decency? Furthermore, I will add that you took no thought for me either, though all the gods, and, above all, the great Serapis, judged it right that I should rule over the world. The proper course was for you to reserve for me the decision concerning the offenders. But perhaps your anger and rage led you astray, since it often "turns reason out of doors and then does terrible things"; for after you had restrained your original impulse, you later introduced lawlessness to mar the wise resolutions which you had at the first adopted, and were not ashamed, as a community, to commit the same rash acts as those for which you rightly detested your adversaries. For tell me, in the name of Serapis, what were the crimes for which you were incensed against George? You will doubtless answer: He exasperated against you Constantius of blessed memory; then he brought an army into the holy city, and the general in command of Egypt seized the most sacred shrine of the god and stripped it of its statues and offerings and of all the ornaments in the temples. And when you were justly provoked and tried to succour the god, or rather the treasures of the god, Artemius dared to send his soldiers against you, unjustly, illegally and impiously, perhaps because he was more afraid of George than of Constantius; for the former was keeping a close watch on him to prevent his behaving to you too moderately and constitutionally, but not to prevent his acting far more like a tyrant. Accordingly you will say it was because you were angered for these reasons against George, the enemy of the gods, that you once more desecrated the holy city, when you might have subjected him to the votes of the judges. For in that case the affair would not have resulted in murder and lawlessness but in a lawsuit in due form, which would have kept you wholly free from guilt, while it would have punished that impious man for his inexpiable crimes, and would have checked all others who neglect the gods, and who moreover lightly esteem cities like yours and flourishing communities, since they think that cruel behaviour towards these is a perquisite of their own power.

Now compare this letter of mine with the one that I wrote to you a short time ago, and mark the difference well. What words of praise for you did I write then! But now, by the gods, though I wish to praise you, I cannot, because you have broken the law. Your citizens dare to tear a human being in pieces as dogs tear a wolf, and then are not ashamed to lift to the gods those hands still dripping with blood! But, you will say, George deserved to be treated in this fashion. Granted, and I might even admit that he deserved even worse and more cruel treatment. Yes, you will say, and on your account. To this I too agree; but if you say by your hands, I no longer agree. For you have laws which ought by all means to be honoured and cherished by you all, individually. Sometimes, no doubt, it happens that certain persons break one or other of these laws; but nevertheless the state as a whole ought to be well governed and you ought to obey the laws and not transgress those that from the beginning were wisely established.

It is a fortunate thing for you, men of Alexandria, that this transgression of yours occurred in my reign, since by reason of my reverence for the god and out of regard for my uncle and namesake, who governed the whole of Egypt and your city also, I preserve for you the affection of a brother. For power that would be respected and a really strict and unswerving government would never overlook an outrageous action of a people, but would rather purge it away by bitter medicine, like a serious disease. But, for the reasons I have just mentioned, I administer to you the very mildest remedy, namely admonition and arguments, by which I am very sure that you will be the more convinced if you really are, as I am told, originally Greeks, and even to this day there remains in your dispositions and habits a notable and honourable impress of that illustrious descent.

Let this be publicly proclaimed to my citizens of Alexandria.

1 - 36on his way to Antioch in June? To Arsacius, High-priest of Galatia

The Hellenic religion does not yet prosper as I desire, and it is the fault of those who profess it; for the worship of the gods is on a splendid and magnificent scale, surpassing every prayer and every hope. May Adrasteia pardon my words, for indeed no one, a little while ago, would have ventured even to pray for a change of such a sort or so complete within so short a time. Why, then, do we think that this is enough, why do we not observe that it is their benevolence to strangers, their care for the graves of the dead and the pretended holiness of their lives that have done most to increase atheism? I believe that we ought really and truly to practise every one of these virtues. And it is not enough for you alone to practise them, but so must all the priests in Galatia, without exception. Either shame or persuade them into righteousness or else remove them from their priestly office, if they do not, together with their wives, children and servants, attend the worship of the gods but allow their servants or sons or wives to show impiety towards the gods and honour atheism more than piety. In the second place, admonish them that no priest may enter a theatre or drink in a tavern or control any craft or trade that is base and not respectable. Honour those who obey you, but those who disobey, expel from office. In every city establish frequent hostels in order that strangers may profit by our benevolence; I do not mean for our own people only, but for others also who are in need of money. I have but now made a plan by which you may be well provided for this; for I have given directions that 30,000 modii of corn shall be assigned every year for the whole of Galatia, and 60,000 pints of wine. I order that one-fifth of this be used for the poor who serve the priests, and the remainder be distributed by us to strangers and beggars. For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galilaeans support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us. Teach those of the Hellenic faith to contribute to public service of this sort, and the Hellenic villages to offer their first fruits to the gods; and accustom those who love the Hellenic religion to these good works by teaching them that this was our practice of old. At any rate Homer makes Eumaeus say: "Stranger, it is not lawful for me, not even though a baser man than you should come, to dishonour a stranger. For from Zeus come all strangers and beggars. And a gift, though small, is precious." Then let us not, by allowing others to outdo us in good works, disgrace by such remissness, or rather, utterly abandon, the reverence due to the gods. If I hear that you are carrying out these orders I shall be filled with joy.

As for the government officials, do not interview them often at their homes, but write to them frequently. And when they enter the city no priest must go to meet them, but only meet them within the vestibule when they visit the temples of the gods. Let no soldier march before them into the temple, but any who will may follow them; for the moment that one of them passes over the threshold of the sacred precinct he becomes a private citizen. For you yourself, as you are aware, have authority over what is within, since this is the bidding of the divine ordinance. Those who obey it are in very truth god-fearing, while those who oppose it with arrogance are vainglorious and empty-headed.

I am ready to assist Pessinus if her people succeed in winning the favour of the Mother of the Gods. But, if they neglect her, they are not only not free from blame, but, not to speak harshly, let them beware of reaping my enmity also. "For it is not lawful for me to cherish or to pity men who are the enemies of the immortal gods." Therefore persuade them, if they claim my patronage, that the whole community must become suppliants of the Mother of the Gods.

1 - 23 3end of January, Constantinople To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt

Some men have a passion for horses, others for birds, others, again, for wild beasts; but I, from childhood, have been penetrated by a passionate longing to acquire books. It would therefore be absurd if I should suffer these to be appropriated by men whose inordinate desire for wealth gold alone cannot satiate, and who unscrupulously design to steal these also. Do you therefore grant me this personal favour, that all the books which belonged to George be sought out. For there were in his house many on philosophy, and many on rhetoric; many also on the teachings of the impious Galilaeans. These latter I should wish to be utterly annihilated, but for fear that along with them more useful works may be destroyed by mistake, let all these also be sought for with the greatest care. Let George's secretary take charge of this search for you, and if he hunts for them faithfully let him know that he will obtain his freedom as a reward, but that if he prove in any way whatever dishonest in the business he will be put to the test of torture. And I know what books George had, many of them, at any rate, if not all; for he lent me some of them to copy, when I was in Cappadocia, and these he received back.

1 - 36Constantinople To the Alexandrians, an Edict

One who had been banished by so many imperial decrees issued by many Emperors ought to have waited for at least one imperial edict, and then on the strength of that returned to his own country, and not displayed rashness and folly, and insulted the laws as though they did not exist. For we have not, even now, granted to the Galilaeans who were exiled by Constantius of blessed memory to return to their churches, but only to their own countries. Yet I learn that the most audacious Athanasius, elated by his accustomed insolence, has again seized what is called among them the episcopal throne, and that this is not a little displeasing to the God-fearing citizens of Alexandria. Wherefore we publicly warn him to depart from the city forthwith, on the very day that he shall receive this letter of our clemency. But if he remain within the city, we publicly warn him that he will receive a much greater and more severe punishment.

1 - 25 36Constantinople To Evagrius

A small estate of four fields, in Bithynia, was given to me by my grandmother, and this I give as an offering to your affection for me. It is too small to bring a man any great benefit on the score of wealth or to make him appear opulent, but even so it is a gift that cannot wholly fail to please you, as you will see if I describe its features to you one by one. And there is no reason why I should not write in a light vein to you who are so full of the graces and amenities of culture. It is situated not more than twenty stades from the sea, so that no trader or sailor with his chatter and insolence disturbs the place. Yet it is not wholly deprived of the favours of Nereus, for it has a constant supply of fish, fresh and still gasping; and if you walk up on to a sort of hill away from the house, you will see the sea, the Propontis and the islands, and the city that bears the name of the noble Emperor; nor will you have to stand meanwhile on seaweed and brambles, or be annoyed by the filth that is always thrown out on to seabeaches and sands, which is so very unpleasant and even unmentionable; but you will stand on smilax and thyme and fragrant herbage. Very peaceful it is to lie down there and glance into some book, and then, while resting one's eyes, it is very agreeable to gaze at the ships and the sea. When I was still hardly more than a boy I thought that this was the most delightful summer place, for it has, moreover, excellent springs and a charming bath and garden and trees. When I had grown to manhood I used to long for my old manner of life there and visited it often, and our meetings there did not lack talks about literature. Moreover there is there, as a humble monument of my husbandry, a small vineyard that produces a fragrant, sweet wine, which does not have to wait for time to improve its flavour. You will have a vision of Dionysus and the Graces. The grapes on the vine, and when they are being crushed in the press, smell of roses, and the new-made wine in the jars is a "rill of nectar," if one may trust Homer. Then why is not such a vine as this abundant and growing over very many acres?

Perhaps I was not a very industrious gardener. But since my mixing bowl of Dionysus is inclined to soberness and calls for a large proportion of the nymphs, I only provided enough for myself and my friends — and they are very few. Well then, I now give this to you as a present, dear heart, and though it be small, as indeed it is, yet it is precious as coming from a friend to a friend, "from home, homeward bound," in the words of the wise poet Pindar. I have written this letter in haste, by lamplight, so that, if I have made any mistakes, do not criticise them severely or as one rhetorician would another.

1 - 26 Early in 36Constantinople To Basil

"Not of war is thy report," says the proverb, but I would add, from comedy, "O thou whose words bring tidings of gold!" Come then, show it by your deeds and hasten to me, for you will come as friend to friend. It is true that continuous attention to public business is thought to be a heavy burden on men who pursue it with all their energy; but those who share the task of administration with me are, I am convinced, honest and reasonable men, intelligent and entirely capable for all they have to do. So they give me leisure and the opportunity of resting without neglecting anything. For our intercourse with one another is free from that hypocrisy of courts of which alone you have hitherto, I think, had experience, that hypocrisy which leads men to praise one another even while they hate with a hatred more deadly than they feel for their worst enemies in war. But we, though we refute and criticise one another with appropriate frankness, whenever it is necessary, love one another as much as the most devoted friends. Hence it is that I am able — if I may say so without odium — to work and yet enjoy relaxation, and when at work to be free from strain and sleep securely. For when I have kept vigil it was less on my own behalf probably than on behalf of all my subjects.

But perhaps I have been wearying you with my chatter and nonsense, displaying stupid conceit, for I have praised myself, like Astydamas. However, I have despatched this letter to you to convince you that your presence, wise man that you are, will be serviceable to me rather than any waste of my time. Make haste then, as I said, and use the state post. And when you have stayed with me as long as you desire you shall go your way whithersoever you please, with an escort furnished by me, as is proper.

1 - 27 36Before May, Constantinople To the Thracians

To an Emperor who had an eye solely to gain, your request would have appeared hard to grant, and he would not have thought that he ought to injure the public prosperity by granting a particular indulgence to any. But since I have not made it my aim to collect the greatest possible sums from my subjects, but rather to be the source of the greatest possible blessings to them, this fact shall for you too cancel your debts. Nevertheless it will not cancel the whole sum absolutely, but there shall be a division of the amount, and part shall be remitted to you, part shall be used for the needs of the army; since from it you yourselves assuredly gain no slight advantages, namely, peace and security. Accordingly I remit for you, down to the third assessment, the whole sum that is in arrears for the period preceding. But thereafter you will contribute as usual. For the amount remitted is sufficient indulgence for you, while for my part I must not neglect the public interest. Concerning this I have sent orders to the prefects also, in order that your indulgence may be carried into effect. May the gods keep you prosperous for all time!

1 - 28 36Constantinople On behalf of the Argives; unaddressed

On behalf of the city of Argos, if one wished to recount her honours, many are the glorious deeds both old and new that one might relate. For instance, in the achievements of the Trojan War they may claim to have played the chief part even as did the Athenians and Lacedaemonians, in later times, in the Persian War. For though both wars are held to have been waged by all Greece in common, yet it is fitting that the leaders, just as they had the larger share of toils and anxiety, should have also a larger share of the praise. These events, however, may seem somewhat antiquated. But those that followed, I mean the return of the Heracleidae, the taking of his birthright from the eldest, the sending from Argos of the colony to Macedonia, and the fact that, though they were such near neighbours to the Lacedaemonians, they always preserved their city unenslaved and free, are proofs of no slight or common fortitude. But, furthermore, all those great deeds accomplished by the Macedonians against the Persians might with justice be considered to belong to this city; for this was the native land of the ancestors of Philip and Alexander,those illustrious men. And in later days Argos obeyed the Romans, not so much because she was conquered as in the character of an ally, and, as I think, she too, like the other states, shared in the independence and the other rights which our rulers always bestow on the cities of Greece.

But now the Corinthians, since Argos has been assigned to their territory — for this is the less invidious way of expressing it — by the sovereign city, have grown insolent in ill-doing and are compelling the Argives to pay them tribute; it is seven years, as I am told, since they began this innovation, and they were not abashed by the immunity of Delphi or of the Eleans, which was granted to them so that they might administer their sacred games. For there are, as we know, four very important and splendid games in Greece; the Eleans celebrate the Olympian games, the Delphians the Pythian, the Corinthians those at the Isthmus, and the Argives the Nemean festival. How then can it be reasonable that those others should retain the immunity that was granted to them in the past, whereas the Argives, who, in consideration of a similar outlay, had their tribute remitted in the past, or perhaps were not even subject to tribute originally, should now be deprived of the privilege of which they were deemed worthy? Moreover, Elis and Delphi are accustomed to contribute only once in the course of their far-famed four-year cycles, but in that period there are two celebrations of the Nemean games among the Argives, and likewise of the Isthmian among the Corinthians. And besides, in these days two other games of this sort have been established among the Argives, so that there are in all in four years four games. How then is it reasonable that those others who bear the burden of this function only once should be left free from the tax, whereas the Argives are obliged to contribute to yet other games in addition to their fourfold expenditure at home; especially as the contribution is for a festival that is neither Hellenic nor of ancient date? For it is not to furnish gymnastic or musical contests that the Corinthians need so much money, but they buy bears and panthers for the hunting shows which they often exhibit in their theatres. And they themselves by reason of their wealth are naturally able to support these great expenses, — especially as many other cities, as is to be expected, help by contributing for this purpose, — so that they purchase the pleasure of indulging their temperaments. But the Argives are not so well off for money, and compelled as they are to slave for a foreign spectacle held in the country of others, will they not be suffering unjust and illegal treatment and moreover unworthy of the ancient power and renown of their city being, as they are, near neighbours of Corinth, who therefore ought to be the more kindly treated, if indeed the saying is true, "Not so much as an ox would perish except through the wrongdoing of one's neighbours"? But it appears that when the Argives bring these charges against the Corinthians they are not raising a dispute about a single paltry ox, but about many heavy expenses to which they are not fairly liable.

And yet one might put this question also to the Corinthians, whether they think it right to abide by the laws and customs of ancient Greece, or rather by those which it seems they recently took over from the sovereign city? For if they respect the high authority of ancient laws and customs, it is no more fitting for the Argives to pay tribute to Corinth than for the Corinthians to pay it to Argos. If, on the other hand, in reliance on the laws they now have, they claim that their city has gained advantages since they received the colony from Rome, then we will exhort them in moderate language not to be more arrogant than their fathers and not to break up the customs which their fathers with sound judgment maintained for the cities of Greece, or remodel them to the injury and detriment of their neighbours; especially since they are relying on a recent decision, and, in their avarice, regard as a piece of luck the inefficiency of the man who was appointed to represent the case of the city of Argos. For if he had appealed and taken the suit outside of the jurisdiction of Greece, the Corinthians would have had less influence; their rights, would have been shown to be weak, when investigated by these numerous and upright advocates, and, swayed by these, it is likely that the judge would have been awed into giving the proper decision, especially as the renown of Argos would also have had weight.

But as for the rights of the case with respect to the city you will learn them from the beginning from the orators if only you will consent to hear them and they are permitted to present their case, and then the situation will be correctly judged from their arguments. But in order to show that we ought to place confidence in those who have come on this embassy, I must add a few words concerning them. Diogenes and Lamprias are indeed philosophers equal to any in our time, and they have avoided the honours and lucrative offices of the state; but they are ever zealous to serve their country to the best of their ability, and whenever the city is in any great emergency, then they plead causes, assist in the government, go on embassies, and spend generously from their own resources. Thus by their actions they refute the reproaches brought against philosophy, and disprove the common opinion that those who pursue philosophy are useless to the state. For their country employs them for these tasks and they are now endeavouring to aid her to obtain justice by my assistance, as I in turn by yours. For this is indeed the only hope of safety left for the oppressed, that they may obtain a judge who has both the will and ability to give a fair decision. For if either of these qualities be lacking, so that he is either imposed on or faithless to his trust, then there is no help for it — the right must perish. But now, since we have judges who are all that we could wish, and yet are not able to plead because they did not appeal at the time, they beg that this disability may first of all be removed for them, and that the lack of energy of the man who at that time was the city's advocate and had the suit in charge may not be the cause of so great detriment to her for all time to come.

And we ought not to think it irregular that the case should again be brought to trial. For, though in the affairs of private persons it is expedient to forego a little one's advantage and the more profitable course, and thereby purchase security for the future — since in their little life it is pleasant, even for a little, to enjoy peace and quiet; moreover it is a terrible thought that one may die while one's case is on trial before the courts and hand down the lawsuit to one's heirs unsettled, so that it seems better to secure the half by any possible means than to die while struggling to gain the whole, — cities on the other hand do not die, and unless there be found someone to give a just decision that will free them from their quarrels with one another, they must inevitably maintain undying ill-will, and their hatred moreover is deep-rooted and gains strength with time.

I have said my say, as the orators express it. You must yourselves determine what is proper to do.

1 - 29 36April, Constantinople To his Uncle Julian

If I set small store by your letters, "Then the gods themselves have destroyed my wits." For all the virtues are displayed in them: goodwill, loyalty, truth, and what is more than all these, since without it the rest are nought, wisdom, displayed by you in all her several kinds, shrewdness, intelligence and good judgement. You reproached me for not answering them, but I have no time, heaven knows, and pray do not suppose that this is affectation or a jest. The gods of eloquence bear me witness that, except for Homer and Plato, I have with me not so much as a pamphleton philosophy, rhetoric, or grammar, or any historical work of the sort that is in general use. And even these that I have are like personal ornaments or amulets, for they are always tied fast to me. For the rest I do not even offer up many prayers, though naturally I need now more than ever to pray very often and very long. But I am hemmed in and choked by public business, as you will perhaps see for yourself when I arrive in Syria.

As for the business mentioned in your letter, I approve of everything and admire everything you propose, nothing of that must be rejected. Be assured, then, that with the aid of the gods I shall leave nothing undone.

First of all set up the pillars of the temple of Daphne; take those that are in any palace anywhere, and convey them thence; then set up in their places others taken from the recently occupied houses. And if there are not enough even from that source, let us use cheaper ones meanwhile, of baked brick and plaster, casing them with marble, for you are well aware that piety is to be preferred to splendour, and, when put in practice, secures much pleasure for the righteous in this life. Concerning the affair of Lauricius, I do not think I need write you any instructions; but I give you just this word of advice: renounce all feeling of anger, trust all to justice, submitting your ears to his words with complete confidence in the right. Yet I do not deny that what he wrote to you was annoying and full of every kind of insolence and arrogance; but you must put up with it. For it becomes a good and great-souled man to make no counter charge when he is maligned. For, just as missiles that are hurled against hard, well-built walls, do not settle on them, or penetrate them, or stay where they strike, but rebound with increased force against the hand that throws them, just so every aspersion directed against an upright man, slander, calumny, or unmerited insolence, touches him not at all, but recoils on the head of him who made the aspersion. This is my advice to you, but the sequel will be for the law to decide, With regard, however, to the letters which he asserts you made public after receiving them from me, it seems to me ridiculous to bring them into court. For I call the gods to witness, I have never written to you or any other man a word that I am not willing to publish for all to see. Have I ever in my letters employed brutality or insolence, or abuse or slander, or said anything for which I need to blush? On the contrary, even when I have felt resentment against someone and my subject gave me a chance to use ribald language like a woman from a cart, the sort of libels that Archilochus launched against Lycambes, I have always expressed myself with more dignity and reserve than one observes even on a sacred subject. And if my letters did give emphatic proof of the kindly feeling that you and I have towards one another, did I wish this to be unknown or concealed? For what purpose? I call all the gods and goddesses to witness that I should not have resented it, even if someone had published abroad all that I ever wrote to my wife, so temperate was it in every respect. And if this or that person has read what I wrote to my own uncle, it would be fairer to blame the man who ferreted it out with such malevolence, rather than me, the writer, or you, or any other who read it. Nevertheless, concede this to me, do not let it disturb your peace of mind, only look at the matter thus — if Lauricius is really dishonest get rid of him in a dignified way. But if he is a well-meaning person of average honesty, and has treated you badly, forgive him. For when men are honest in public life we must be on good terms with them, even though they do not behave properly to us in their private capacity. On the other hand, when men are dishonest in public affairs, even though they have won our favour, we must keep them under control; I do not mean that we must hate or avoid them, but keep careful watch on them, so that we may not fail to detect them when they misbehave, though if they are too hard to control in this way, we must not employ them at all. As for what you, as well as others, have written, that though notorious for bad conduct he masquerades as a physician, I did send for him, thinking that he was trustworthy, but before he had an interview with me his true character was detected, or rather he was denounced to me — when I meet you I will tell you by whom — and he was treated with contempt. For this too I have to thank you.

Instead of the estates that you asked for, since I have already given those away — I call to witness the gods of our family and of friendship — I will give you some that pay far better, as you shall yourself discover.

1 - 30 36Spring, Constantinople To Philip

I call the gods to witness that, when I was still Caesar I wrote to you, and I think it was more than once. However, I started to do so many times, but there were reasons that prevented me, now of one kind, now another, and then followed that wolf's friendship that arose between myself and Constantius of blessed memory, in consequence of the proclamation. I was exceedingly careful not to write to anyone beyond the Alps for fear of getting him into serious trouble. So consider the fact that I did not write a proof of my goodwill. For it is often impracticable to make one's language harmonise with one's real sentiments. Then, too, letters from the Emperor to private persons might well lead to their display for bragging and making false pretences when they come into the hands of persons with no sense of propriety, who carry them about like seal-rings and show them to the inexperienced. Nay, genuine friendship is produced first and foremost by similarity of disposition, but a second kind is, when one feels true and not pretended admiration, and a humane, moderate and virtuous man is cherished by one who is his superior in fortune and intelligence. Moreover letters of this sort are full of conceit and nonsense, and, for my part, I often blame myself for making mine too long, and for being too loquacious when I might discipline my tongue to Pythagorean silence.

Yes, I received the tokens, namely, a silver bowl weighing one mina and a gold coin. I should be very glad to invite you to visit me as you suggest in your letter. But the first signs of spring are here already, the trees are in bud, and the swallows, which are expected almost immediately, as soon as they come drive our band of campaigners out of doors, and remind us that we ought to be over the border. We shall travel through your part of the country, so that you would have a better chance of seeing me, if the gods so will it, in your own home. This will, I think, be soon, unless some sign from heaven should forbid it. For this same meeting I am praying to the gods.

1 - 31 36May 1from Constantinople. A decree concerning Physicians

That the science of medicine is salutary for mankind is plainly testified by experience. Hence the sons of the philosophers are right in proclaiming that this science also is descended from heaven. For by its means the infirmity of our nature and the disorders that attack us are corrected. Therefore, in accordance with reason and justice, we decree what is in harmony with the acts of former Emperors, and of our benevolence ordain that for the future ye may live free from the burdens attaching to senators.

1 - 32 36Jan-May, Constantinople, or from Antioch in the autumn. To the priestess Theodora

I have received through Mygdonius the books that you sent me, and besides, all the letters of recommendation that you forwarded to me throughout the festival. Every one of these gives me pleasure, but you may be sure that more pleasant than anything else is the news about your excellent self, that by the grace of the gods you are in good physical health, and are devoting yourself to the service of the gods more earnestly and energetically. As regards what you wrote to the philosopher Maximus, that my friend Seleucus is ill-disposed towards you, believe me that he neither does nor says in my presence anything that he could possibly intend as slandering. On the contrary, all that he tells me about you is favourable; and while I do not go so far as to say that he actually feels friendly to you — only he himself and the all-seeing gods can know the truth as to that — still I can say with perfect sincerity that he does refrain from any such calumny in my presence. Therefore it seems absurd to scrutinise what is thus concealed rather than what he actually does, and to search for proof of actions of which I have no shred of evidence. But since you have made so many accusations against him, and have plainly revealed to me a definite cause for your own hostility towards him, I do say this much to you frankly; if you are showing favour to any person, man or woman, slave or free, who neither worships the gods as yet, nor inspires in you any hope that you may persuade him to do so, you are wrong. For do but consider first how you would feel about your own household. Suppose that some slave for whom you feel affection should conspire with those who slandered and spoke ill of you, and showed deference to them, but abhorred and detested us who are your friends, would you not wish for his speedy destruction, or rather would you not punish him yourself? Well then, are the gods to be less honoured than our friends? You must use the same argument with reference to them, you must consider that they are our masters and we their slaves. It follows, does it not, that if one of us who call ourselves servants of the gods has a favourite slave who abominates the gods and turns from their worship, we must in justice either convert him and keep him, or dismiss him from the house and sell him, in case some one does not find it easy to dispense with owning a slave? For my part I would not consent to be loved by those who do not love the gods; wherefore I now say plainly that you and all who aspire to priestly offices must bear this in mind, and engage with greater energy in the temple worship of the gods. And it is reasonable to expect that a priest should begin with his own household in showing reverence, and first of all prove that it is wholly and throughout pure of such grave distempers.

1 - 33 36about the same date as Letter 3To the most reverend Theodora

I was glad to receive all the books that you sent me, and your letters through the excellent Mygdonius. And since I have hardly any leisure, — as the gods know, I speak without affectation, — I have written you these few lines. And now fare-well, and may you always write me letters of the same sort!

1 - 3To Theodora?

I have received from you who are wisdom itself your letter telling me of the fair and blessed promises and gifts of the gods to us. First I acknowledged the great gratitude that I owed to the heavenly gods, and in the second place I rendered thanks to your generosity of soul, in that you are zealous, no one more so, in entreating the gods on my behalf, and moreover you lose no time but inform me without delay of the blessings that have been revealed where you are.

1 - 35 36June, on the way to Antioch. To Aristoxenus, a Philosopher

Must you then really wait for an invitation and never prefer to come uninvited? Nay, see to it that you and I do not introduce this tiresome convention of expecting the same ceremony from our friends as from mere chance acquaintances. At this point will somebody or other raise the question how we come to be friends when we have never seen one another? I answer: How are we the friends of those who lived a thousand, or, by Zeus, even two thousand years ago? It is because they were all virtuous, of upright and noble character. And we, likewise, desire to be such as they, even though, to speak for myself, we completely fail in that aspiration. But, at any rate, this ambition does in some degree rank us in the same category as those persons. But why do I talk at length about these trifles? For if it is right that you should come without an invitation you will certainly come; if, on the other hand, you are really waiting for an invitation, herewith you have from me an urgent summons. Therefore meet me at Tyana, in the name of Zeus the god of friendship, and show me a genuine Hellene among the Cappadocians. For I observe that, as yet, some refuse to sacrifice, and that, though some few are zealous, they lack knowledge.

1 - 36after June 1from Antioch. Rescript on Christian Teachers

I hold that a proper education results, not in laboriously acquired symmetry of phrases and language, but in a healthy condition of mind, I mean a mind that has understanding and true opinions about things good and evil, honourable and base. Therefore, when a man thinks one thing and teaches his pupils another, in my opinion he fails to educate exactly in proportion as he fails to be an honest man. And if the divergence between a man's convictions and his utterances is merely in trivial matters, that can be tolerated somehow, though it is wrong. But if in matters of the greatest importance a man has certain opinions and teaches the contrary, what is that but the conduct of hucksters, and not honest but thoroughly dissolute men in that they praise most highly the things that they believe to be most worthless, thus cheating and enticing by their praises those to whom they desire to transfer their worthless wares. Now all who profess to teach anything whatever ought to be men of upright character, and ought not to harbour in their souls opinions irreconcilable with what they publicly profess; and, above all, I believe it is necessary that those who associate with the young and teach them rhetoric should be of that upright character; for they expound the writings of the ancients, whether they be rhetoricians or grammarians, and still more if they are sophists. For these claim to teach, in addition to other things, not only the use of words, but morals also, and they assert that political philosophy is their peculiar field. Let us leave aside, for the moment, the question whether this is true or not. But while I applaud them for aspiring to such high pretensions, I should applaud them still more if they did not utter falsehoods and convict themselves of thinking one thing and teaching their pupils another. What! Was it not the gods who revealed all their learning to Homer, Hesiod, Demosthenes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Isocrates and Lysias? Did not these men think that they were consecrated, some to Hermes, others to the Muses? I think it is absurd that men who expound the works of these writers should dishonour the gods whom they used to honour. Yet, though I think this absurd, I do not say that they ought to change their opinions and then instruct the young. But I give them this choice; either not to teach what they do not think admirable, or, if they wish to teach, let them first really persuade their pupils that neither Homer nor Hesiod nor any of these writers whom they expound and have declared to be guilty of impiety, folly and error in regard to the gods, is such as they declare. For since they make a livelihood and receive pay from the works of those writers, they thereby confess that they are most shamefully greedy of gain, and that, for the sake of a few drachmae, they would put up with anything. It is true that, until now, there were many excuses for not attending the temples, and the terror that threatened on all sides absolved men for concealing the truest beliefs about the gods. But since the gods have granted us liberty, it seems to me absurd that men should teach what they do not believe to be sound. But if they believe that those whose interpreters they are and for whom they sit, so to speak, in the seat of the prophets, were wise men, let them be the first to emulate their piety towards the gods. If, however, they think that those writers were in error with respect to the most honoured gods, then let them betake themselves to the churches of the Galilaeans to expound Matthew and Luke, since you Galilaeans are obeying them when you ordain that men shall refrain from temple-worship. For my part, I wish that your ears and your tongues might be "born anew," as you would say, as regards these things in which may I ever have part, and all who think and act as is pleasing to me.

For religious and secular teachers let there be a general ordinance to this effect: Any youth who wishes to attend the schools is not excluded; nor indeed would it be reasonable to shut out from the best way boys who are still too ignorant to know which way to turn, and to overawe them into being led against their will to the beliefs of their ancestors. Though indeed it might be proper to cure these, even against their will, as one cures the insane, except that we concede indulgence to all for this sort of disease. For we ought, I think, to teach, but not punish, the demented.

1 - 36Constantinople or Antioch. To Atarbius

I affirm by the gods that I do not wish the Galilaeans to be either put to death or unjustly beaten, or to suffer any other injury; but nevertheless I do assert absolutely that the god-fearing must be preferred to them. For through the folly of the Galilaeans almost everything has been overturned, whereas through the grace of the gods are we all preserved. Wherefore we ought to honour the gods and the god-fearing, both men and cities.

1 - 36after the middle of July from Antioch. Julian the Apostate to Porphyrius

The library of George was very large and complete and contained philosophers of every school and many historians, especially, among these, numerous books of all kinds by the Galilaeans. Do you therefore make a thorough search for the whole library without exception and take care to send it to Antioch. You may be sure that you will yourself incur the severest penalty if you do not trace it with all diligence, and do not by every kind of enquiry, by every kind of sworn testimony and, further, by torture of the slaves, compel, if you cannot persuade, those who are in any way suspected of having stolen any of the books to bring them all forth. Farewell.

1 - 39 36Probably from Antioch. To the citizens of Byzacium

I have restored to you all your senators and councillors whether they have abandoned themselves to the superstition of the Galilaeans or have devised some other method of escaping from the senate, and have excepted only those who have filled public offices in the capital.

1 - 40 End of 3or early in 36Antioch. To Hecebolius

I have behaved to all the Galilaeans with such kindness and benevolence that none of them has suffered violence anywhere or been dragged into a temple or threatened into anything else of the sort against his own will. But the followers of the Arian church, in the insolence bred by their wealth, have attacked the followers of Valentine and have committed in Edessa such rash acts as could never occur in a well-ordered city. Therefore, since by their most admirable law they are bidden to sell all they have and give to the poor that so they may attain more easily to the kingdom of the skies, in order to aid those persons in that effort, I have ordered that all their funds, namely, that belong to the church of the people of Edessa, are to be taken over that they may be given to the soldiers, and that its property be confiscated to my private purse. This is in order that poverty may teach them to behave properly and that they may not be deprived of that heavenly kingdom for which they still hope. And I publicly command you citizens of Edessa to abstain from all feuds and rivalries, else will you provoke even my benevolence against yourselves, and being sentenced to the sword and to exile and to fire pay the penalty for disturbing the good order of the commonwealth.

1 -  36August 1st, Antioch. To the citizens of Bostra

I thought that the leaders of the Galilaeans would be more grateful to me than to my predecessor in the administration of the Empire. For in his reign it happened to the majority of them to be sent into exile, prosecuted, and cast into prison, and moreover, many whole communities of those who are called "heretics" were actually butchered, as at Samosata and Cyzicus, in Paphlagonia, Bithynia, and Galatia, and among many other tribes also villages were sacked and completely devastated; whereas, during my reign, the contrary has happened. For those who had been exiled have had their exile remitted, and those whose property was confiscated have, by a law of mine received permission to recover all their possessions. Yet they have reached such a pitch of raving madness and folly that they are exasperated because they are not allowed to behave like tyrants or to persist in the conduct in which they at one time indulged against one another, and afterwards carried on towards us who revered the gods. They therefore leave no stone unturned, and have the audacity to incite the populace to disorder and revolt, whereby they both act with impiety towards the gods and disobey my edicts, humane though these are. At least I do not allow a single one of them to be dragged against his will to worship at the altars; nay, I proclaim in so many words that, if any man of his own free will choose to take part in our lustral rites and libations, he ought first of all to offer sacrifices of purification and supplicate the gods that avert evil. So far am I from ever having wished or intended that anyone of those sacrilegious men should partake in the sacrifices that we most revere, until he has purified his soul by supplications to the gods, and his body by the purifications that are customary.

It is, at any rate, evident that the populace who have been led into error by those who are called "clerics," are in revolt because this license has been taken from them. For those who have till now behaved like tyrants are not content that they are not punished for their former crimes, but, longing for the power they had before, because they are no longer allowed to sit as judges and draw up wills and appropriate the inheritances of other men and assign everything to themselves, they pull every string of disorder, and, as the proverb says, lead fire through a pipe to fire, and dare to add even greater crimes to their former wickedness by leading on the populace to disunion. Therefore I have decided to proclaim to all communities of citizens, by means of this edict, and to make known to all, that they must not join in the feuds of the clerics or be induced by them to take stones in their hands or disobey those in authority; but they may hold meetings for as long as they please and may offer on their own behalf the prayers to which they are accustomed; that, on the other hand, if the clerics try to induce them to take sides on their behalf in quarrels, they must no longer consent to do so, if they would escape punishment.

I have been led to make this proclamation to the city of Bostra in particular, because their bishop Titus and the clerics, in the reports that they have issued, have made accusations against their own adherents, giving the impression that, when the populace were on the point of breaking the peace, they themselves admonished them not to cause sedition. Indeed, I have subjoined to this my decree the very words which he dared to write in his report: "Although the Christians are a match for the Hellenes in numbers, they are restrained by our admonition that no one disturb the peace in any place." For these are the very words of the bishop about you. You see how he says that your good behaviour was not of your own choice, since, as he at any rate alleged, you were restrained against your will by his admonitions! Therefore, of your own free will, seize your accuser and expel him from the city, but do you, the populace, live in agreement with one another, and let no man be quarrelsome or act unjustly. Neither let those of you who have strayed from the truth outrage those who worship the gods duly and justly, according to the beliefs that have been handed down to us from time immemorial; nor let those of you who worship the gods outrage or plunder the houses of those who have strayed rather from ignorance than of set purpose. It is by reason that we ought to persuade and instruct men, not by blows, or insults, or bodily violence. Wherefore, again and often I admonish those who are zealous for the true religion not to injure the communities of the Galilaeans or attack or insult them. Nay, we ought to pity rather than hate men who in matters of the greatest importance are in such evil case. (For in very truth the greatest of all blessings is reverence for the gods, as, on the other hand, irreverence is the greatest of all evils, It follows that those who have turned aside from the gods to corpses and relics pay this as their penalty.) Since we suffer in sympathy with those who are afflicted by disease, but rejoice with those who are being released and set free by the aid of the gods. Given at Antioch on the First of August.

1 - 42 36Antioch. To Callixeine

"Time alone proves the just man," as we learn from men of old; but I would add the god-fearing and pious man also. However, you say, the love of Penelope for her husband was also witnessed to by time. Now who would rank a woman's piety second to her love for her husband without appearing to have drunk a very deep draught of mandragora? And if one takes into account the conditions of the times and compares Penelope, who is almost universally praised for loving her husband, with pious women who not long ago hazarded their lives; and if one considers also that the period was twice as long, which was an aggravation of their sufferings; then, I ask, is it possible to make any fair comparison between you and Penelope? Nay, do not belittle my praises. All the gods will requite you for your sufferings and for my part I shall honour you with a double priesthood. For besides that which you held before of priestess to the most venerable goddess Demeter, I entrust to you the office of priestess to the most mighty Mother of the gods in Phrygia at Pessinus, beloved of the gods.

1 - 43 36Antioch. To Eustathius the Philosopher

Perhaps the proverb "An honest man" — is too hackneyed. I am sure you know the rest. More than this, you possess it; for, rhetorician and philosopher as you are, you know the words that come next, and you possess me for a friend, at least if we are both honest men. On your behalf I would strenuously maintain that you are in that category, but about myself I say nothing. I only pray that others may find by experience that I also am honest! You ask why I go round in a circle as though I were going to say something extraordinary when I ought to speak out? Come, then, lose no time; fly hither, as we say. A kindly god will speed you on your way with the aid of the Maiden of the Cross Roads and the state post will be at your disposal if you wish to use a carriage; and two extra horses.

1 - 36Antioch. To Eustathius

"Entreat kindly the guest in your house, but speed him when he would be gone."

Thus did wise Homer decree. But the friendship that exists between us two is stronger than that between guest and host, because it is inspired by the best education attainable and by our pious devotion to the gods. So that no one could have fairly indicted me for transgressing the law of Homer if I had insisted that you should remain still longer with us. But I see that your feeble frame needs more care, and I have therefore given you permission to go to your own country, and have provided for your comfort on the journey. That is to say, you are allowed to use a state carriage, and may Asclepius and all the gods escort you on your way and grant that we may see you again!

1 - 45 36October, from Antioch. To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt

As the proverb says, "You told me my own dream." And I fancy that I am relating to you your own waking vision. The Nile, they tell me, had risen in full flood, cubits high, and has inundated the whole of Egypt. If you want to hear the figures, it had risen fifteen cubits on the twentieth of September. Theophilus, the military prefect, informs me of this. So, if you did not know it, hear it from me, and let it rejoice your heart.

1 - 46 36about October, from Antioch. To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt

Even though you do not write to me on other matters, you ought at least to have written about that enemy of the gods, Athanasius, especially since, for a long time past, you have known my just decrees. I swear by mighty Serapis that, if Athanasius the enemy of the gods does not depart from that city, or rather from all Egypt, before the December Kalends, I shall fine the cohort which you command a hundred pounds of gold. And you know that, though I am slow to condemn, I am even much slower to remit when I have once condemned. Added with his own hand. It vexes me greatly that my orders are neglected. By all the gods there is nothing I should be so glad to see, or rather hear reported as achieved by you, as that Athanasius has been expelled beyond the frontiers of Egypt. Infamous man! He has had the audacity to baptise Greek women of rank during my reign! Let him be driven forth!

1 - 47 36Nov. or Dec. from Antioch. To the Alexandrians

If your founder had been one of the Galilaeans, men who have transgressed their own law and have paid the penalties they deserved, since they elected to live in defiance of the law and have introduced a new doctrine and newfangled teaching, even then it would have been unreasonable for you to demand back Athanasius. But as it is, though Alexander founded your city and the lord Serapis is the city's patron god, together with his consort the Maiden, the Queen of all Egypt, Isis . . . not emulating the healthy part of the city; but the part that is diseased has the audacity to arrogate to itself the name of the whole.

I am overwhelmed with shame, I affirm it by the gods, O men of Alexandria, to think that even a single Alexandrian can admit that he is a Galilaean. The forefathers of the genuine Hebrews were the slaves of the Egyptians long ago, but in these days, men of Alexandria, you who conquered the Egyptians — for your founder was the conqueror of Egypt — submit yourselves, despite your sacred traditions, in willing slavery to men who have set at naught the teachings of their ancestors. You have then no recollection of those happy days of old when all Egypt held communion with the gods and we enjoyed many benefits therefrom. But those who have but yesterday introduced among you this new doctrine, tell me of what benefit have they been to the city? Your founder was a god-fearing man, Alexander of Macedon, in no way, by Zeus, like any of these persons, nor again did he resemble any Hebrews, though the latter have shown themselves far superior to the Galilaeans. Nay, Ptolemy son of Lagus proved stronger than the Jews, while Alexander, if he had had to match himself with the Romans, would have made even them fight hard for supremacy. And what about the Ptolemies who succeeded your founder and nurtured your city from her earliest years as though she were their own daughter? It was certainly not by the preachings of Jesus that they increased her renown, nor by the teaching of the Galilaeans, detested of the gods, did they perfect this administration which she enjoys and to which she owes her present good fortune. Thirdly, when we Romans became her masters and took her out of the hands of the Ptolemies who misgoverned her, Augustus visited your city and made the following speech to your citizens: "Men of Alexandria, I absolve the city of all blame, because of my reverence for the mighty god Serapis, and further for the sake of the people themselves and the great renown of the city. But there is a third reason for my goodwill towards you, and that is my comrade Areius." Now this Areius was a fellow-citizen of yours and a familiar friend of Caesar Augustus, by profession a philosopher.

These, then, to sum them up briefly, are the blessings bestowed by the Olympian gods on your city in peculiar, though I pass over very many because they would take too long to describe. But the blessings that are vouchsafed by the visible gods to all in common, every day, not merely to a few persons or a single race, or to one city, but to the whole world at the same time, how can you fail to know what they are? Are you alone insensible to the beams that descend from Helios? Are you alone ignorant that summer and winter are from him? Or that all kinds of animal and plant life proceed from him? And do you not perceive what great blessings the city derives from her who is generated from and by him, even Selene who is the creator of the whole universe?Yet you have the audacity not to adore any one of these gods; and you think that one whom neither you nor your fathers have ever seen, even Jesus, ought to rank as God the Word. But the god whom from time immemorial the whole race of mankind has beheld and looked up to and worshipped, and from that worship prospered, I mean mighty Helios, his intelligible father's living image, endowed with soul and intelligence, cause of all good . . .  if you heed my admonition, do ye lead yourselves even a little towards the truth. For you will not stray from the right road if you heed one who till his twentieth year walked in that road of yours, but for twelve years now has walked in this road I speak of, by the grace of the gods.

Therefore, if it please you to obey me, you will rejoice me the more. But if you choose to persevere in the superstition and instruction of wicked men, at least agree among yourselves and do not crave for Athanasius. In any case there are many of his pupils who can comfort well enough those itching ears of yours that yearn to hear impious words. I only wish that, along with Athanasius, the wickedness of his impious school had been suppressed. But as it is you have a fine crowd of them and need have no trouble. For any man whom you elect from the crowd will be in no way inferior to him for whom you crave, at any rate for the teaching of the scriptures. But if you have made these requests because you are so fond of the general subtlety of Athanasius — for I am informed that the man is a clever rascal — then you must know that for this very reason he has been banished from the city. For a meddlesome man is unfit by nature to be leader of the people. But if this leader is not even a man but only a contemptible puppet, like this great personage who thinks he is risking his head, this surely gives the signal for disorder.  Wherefore, that nothing of the sort may occur in your case, as I long ago gave orders that he depart from the city, I now say, let him depart from the whole of Egypt.

Let this be publicly proclaimed to my citizens of Alexandria.

1 - 48 Early 36from Antioch. To the Alexandrians

I am informed that there is in your neighbourhood a granite obelisk which, when it stood erect, reached a considerable height, but has been thrown down and lies on the beach as though it were something entirely worthless. For this obelisk Constantius of blessed memory had a freight-boat built, because he intended to convey it to my native place, Constantinople. But since by the will of heaven he has departed from this life to the next on that journey to which we are fated, the city claims the monument from me because it is the place of my birth and more closely connected with me than with the late Emperor. For though he loved the place as a sister I love it as my mother. And I was in fact born there and brought up in the place, and I cannot ignore its claims. Well then, since I love you also, no less than my native city, I grant to you also permission to set up the bronze statue in your city. A statue has lately been made of colossal size. If you set this up you will have, instead of a stone monument, a bronze statue of a man whom you say you love and long for, and a human shape instead of a quadrangular block of granite with Egyptian characters on it. Moreover the news has reached me that there are certain persons who worship there and sleep at its very apex, and that convinces me beyond doubt that on account of these superstitious practices I ought to take it away. For men who see those persons sleeping there and so much filthy rubbish and careless and licentious behaviour in that place, not only do not believe that it is sacred, but by the influence of the superstition of those who dwell there come to have less faith in the gods. Therefore, for this very reason it is the more proper for you to assist in this business and to send it to my native city, which always receives you hospitably when you sail into the Pontus, and to contribute to its external adornment, even as you contribute to its sustenance. It cannot fail to give you pleasure to have something that has belonged to you standing in their city, and as you sail towards that city you will delight in gazing at it.

1 - 3or early in 36from Antioch. To Ecdicius, Prefect of Egypt

If there is anything that deserves our fostering care, it is the sacred art of music. Do you therefore select from the citizens of Alexandria boys of good birth, and give orders that two artabae of corn are to be furnished every month to each of them, with olive oil also, and wine. The overseers of the Treasury will provide them with clothing. For the present let these boys be chosen for their voices, but if any of them should prove capable of attaining to the higher study of the science of music, let them be informed that very considerable rewards for their work have been set aside at my court also. For they must believe those who have expressed right opinions on these matters that they themselves rather than we will be purified in soul by divinely inspired music, and benefit thereby. So much, then, for the boys. As for those who are now the pupils of Dioscorus the musician, do you urge them to apply themselves to the art with still more zeal, for I am ready to assist them to whatever they may wish.

1 - 50 362-36Winter, from Antioch. To Nilus, surnamed Dionysius

Your earlier silence was more creditable than your present defence; for then you did not utter abuse, though perhaps it was in your mind. But now, as though you were in travail, you have poured out your abuse of me wholesale. For must I not regard it as abuse and slander that you supposed me to be like your own friends, to each of whom you offered yourself uninvited; or rather, by the first you were not invited, and you obeyed the second on his merely indicating that he wished to enlist you to help him. However, whether I am like Constans and Magnentius the event itself, as they say, will prove. But as for you, from what you wrote it is very plain that, in the words of the comic poet,

"You are praising yourself, lady, like Astydamas."

For when you write about your "fearlessness" and "great courage," and say "Would that you knew my real value and my true character!" and, in a word, all that sort of thing, — for shame! What an empty noise and display of words is this! Nay, by the Graces and Aphrodite, if you are so brave and noble, why were you "so careful to avoid incurring displeasure," if need be, "for the third time"? For when men fall under the displeasure of princes, the lightest consequence — and, as one might say, the most agreeable to a man of sense — is that they are at once relieved from the cares of business; and if they have to pay a small fine as well, their stumbling block is merely money; while the culmination of the prince's wrath, and the "fate beyond all remedy" as the saying is, is to lose their lives. Disregarding all these dangers, because, as you say, "you had come to know me in my private capacity for the man I am" — and in my common and generic capacity for the human being I am, though unknown to myself, late learner that I am! — why, in heaven's name, did you say that you were careful to avoid incurring displeasure for the third time? For surely my anger will not change you from a good man into a bad. I should be enviable indeed, and with justice, if I had the power to do that; for then, as Plato says, I could do the converse as well. But since virtue owns no master, you ought not to have taken into account anything of the 'sort. However, you think it is a fine thing to speak ill of all men, and to abuse all without exception, and to convert the shrine of peace into a workshop of war. Or do you think in this way to excuse yourself in the sight of all for your past sins, and that your courage now is a screen to hide your cowardice of old? You have heard the fable of Babrius: "Once upon a time a weasel fell in love with a handsome youth.". The rest of the fable you may learn from the book. However much you may say, you will never convince any human being that you were not what you were, and such as many knew you to be in the past. As for your ignorance and audacity now, it was not philosophy that implanted them in you, no, by heaven! On the contrary, it was what Plato calls a twofold lack of knowledge. For though you really know nothing, just as I know nothing, you think forsooth that you are the wisest of all men, not only of those who are alive now, but also of those who have ever been, and perhaps of those who ever will be. To such a pitch of ignorance has your self-conceit grown!

However, as far as you are concerned, this that I have said is more than enough; but perhaps I ought to apologise on your account to the others because I too hastily summoned you to take part in public affairs. I am not the first or the only one, Dionysius, who has had this experience. Your namesake deceived even great Plato; and Callippus the Athenian also deceived Dio. For Plato says that Dio knew he was a bad man but that he would never have expected in him such a degree of baseness. Why need I quote the experience of these men, when even Hippocrates, the most distinguished of the sons of Asclepius, said: "The sutures of the head baffled my judgement." Now if those famous men were deceived about persons whom they knew, and the physician was mistaken in a professional diagnosis, is it surprising that Julian was deceived when he heard that Nilus Dionysius had suddenly become brave? You have heard tell of the famous Phaedo of Elis, and you know his story. However, if you do not know it, study it more carefully, but at any rate I will tell you this part. He thought that there is nothing that cannot be cured by philosophy, and that by her all men can be purified from all their modes of life, their habits, desires, in a word from everything of the sort. If indeed she only availed those who are well born and well bred there would be nothing marvellous about philosophy; but if she can lead up to the light men so greatly depraved, then I consider her marvellous beyond anything. For these reasons my estimate of you, as all the gods know, inclined little 'by little to be more favourable; but even so I did not count your sort in the first or the second class of the most virtuous. Perhaps you yourself know this; but if you do not know it, enquire of the worthy Symmachus. For I am convinced that he would never willingly tell a lie, since he is naturally disposed to be truthful in all things. And if you are aggrieved that I did not honour you before all others, I for my part reproach myself for having ranked you even among the last in merit, and I thank all the gods and goddesses who hindered us from becoming associated in public affairs and from being intimate . . . And indeed, though the poets have often said of Rumour that she is a goddess, and let us grant, if you will, that she at least has demonic power, yet not very much attention ought to be paid to her, because a demon is not altogether pure or perfectly good, like the race of the gods, but has some share of the opposite quality. And even though it be not permissible to say this concerning the other demons, I know that when I say of Rumour that she reports many things falsely as well as many truthfully, I shall never myself be convicted of bearing false witness.

But as for your "freedom of speech," do you think that it is worth four obols, as the saying is? Do you not know that Thersites also spoke his mind freely among the Greeks, whereupon the most wise Odysseus beat him with his staff, while Agamemnon paid less heed to the drunken brawling of Thersites than a tortoise does to flies, as the proverb goes? For that matter it is no great achievement to criticise others, but rather to place oneself beyond the reach of criticism. Now if you can claim to be in this category, prove it to me. Did you not, when you were young, furnish to your elders fine themes for gossip about you? However, like Electra in Euripides, I keep silence about happenings of this sort. But when you came to man's estate and betook yourself to the camp, how, in the name of Zeus, did you behave? You say that you left it because you gave offence in the cause of truth. From what evidence can you prove this, as though many men and of the basest sort had not been exiled by the very persons by whom you yourself were driven away? O most wise Dionysius, it does not happen to a virtuous and temperate man to go away obnoxious to those in power! You would have done better if you had proved to us that men from their intercourse with you were better behaved. But this was not in your power, no, by the gods, nor is it in the power of tens of thousands who emulate your way of life. For when rocks grind against rocks and stones against stones they do not benefit one another, and the stronger easily wears down the weaker.

I am not saying this in Laconic fashion and concisely, am I? Nay, I think that on your account I have shown myself even more talkative than Attic grasshoppers. However, in return for your drunken abuse of myself, I will inflict on you the appropriate punishment, by the grace of the gods and our lady Adrasteia. What, then, is this punishment, and what has the greatest power to hurt your tongue and your mind? It is this: I will try, by erring as little as may be in word and deed, not to provide your slanderous tongue with so much foolish talk. And yet I am well aware that it is said that even the sandal of Aphrodite was satirised by Momus. But you observe that though Momus poured forth floods of criticism he could barely find anything to criticise in her sandal.Even so may you grow old fretting yourself over things of this sort, more decrepit than Tithonus, richer than Cinyras, more luxurious than Sardanapalus, so that in you may be fulfilled the proverb, "Old men are twice children."

But why does the divine Alexander seem to you so pre-eminent? Is it because you took to imitating him and aspired to that for which the youth Hermolaus reproached him? Or rather, no one is so foolish as to suspect you of that. But the very opposite, that which Hermolaus lamented that he had endured, and which was the reason for his plotting, as they say, to kill Alexander — everyone believes this about you also, do they not? I call the gods to witness that I have heard many persons assert that they were very fond of you and who made many excuses for this offence of yours, but I have found just one person who did not believe it. However he is that one swallow who does not make a spring. But perhaps the reason why Alexander seemed in your eyes a great man was that he cruelly murdered Callisthenes, that Cleitus fell a victim to his drunken fury, and Philotas too, and Parmenio and Parmenio's son; for that affair of Hector, who was smothered in the whirlpools of the Nile in Egypt or the Euphrates — the story is told of both rivers — I say nothing about, or of his other follies, lest I should seem to speak ill of a man who by no means maintained the ideal of rectitude but nevertheless excelled as a general in the works of war. Whereas you are less endowed with both these, namely, good principles and courage, than a fish with hair. Now listen to my advice and do not resent it too much.

"Not to thee, my child, have been given the works of war."

The verse that follows I do not write out for you, because, by the gods, I am ashamed to do so. However I ask you to understand it as said. For it is only fair that words should follow on deeds, and that he who has never avoided deeds should not avoid the phrases that describe them.

Nay, if you revere the pious memory of Magnentius and Constans, why do you wage war against the living and abuse those who excel in any way? Is it because the dead are better able than the living to avenge themselves on those who vex them? Yet it does not become you to say this. For you are, as your letter says, "Very brave indeed." But if this is not the reason, perhaps there is a different one. Perhaps you do not wish to satirise them because they cannot feel it. But among the living is there anyone so foolish or so cowardly as to demand that you should take any notice of him at all, and who will not prefer if possible to be altogether ignored by you; but if that should be impossible, to be abused by you, as indeed I am now abused rather than honoured? May I never be so ill-advised — may I never aspire to win praise rather than blame from you!

But perhaps you will say that the very fact that I am writing to you is a proof that I am stung? No, I call the Saviour Gods to witness that I am but trying to check your excessive audacity and boldness, the license of your tongue and the ferocity of your soul, the madness of your wits and your perverse fury on all occasions. In any case it was in my power, if I had been stung, to chastise you with deeds and not merely with words, and I should have been entirely within the law. For you are a citizen and of senatorial rank and you disobeyed a command of your Emperor; and such behaviour was certainly not permissible to anyone who could not furnish the excuse of real necessity. Therefore I was not satisfied with inflicting on you any sort of penalty for this conduct, but I thought I ought to write to you first, thinking that you might be cured by a short letter. But since I have discovered that you persist in the same errors, or rather how great your frenzy is which I previously did not know . . . lest you should be thought to be a man, when that you are not, or brimful of freedom of speech, when you are only full of insanity, or that you have had the advantage of education when you have not the smallest acquaintance with literature, as far, at any rate, as one may reasonably judge from your letters. For instance, no one of the ancients ever used φροῦδος to mean "manifest" as you do here, — for, as for the other blunders displayed in your letter, no one could describe them even in a long book, or that obscene and abominable character of yours that leads you to prostitute yourself. You tell me indeed that it is not those who arrive offhand or those who are hunting for public office whom we ought to choose, but those who use sound judgement and in accordance with this prefer to do their duty rather than those who are ready and eager to obey. Fair, truly, are the hopes you hold out to me though I made no appeal to you, implying that you will yield if I again summon you to take part in public business. But I am so far from doing that, that, when the others were admitted, I never even addressed you at any time. And yet I did address many who were known and unknown to me and dwell in Rome, beloved of the gods. Such was my desire for your friendship, so worthy of consideration did I think you! Therefore it is likely that my future conduct towards you will be much the same. And indeed I have written this letter now, not for your perusal alone, since I knew it was needed by many besides yourself, and I will give it to all, since all, I am convinced, will be glad to receive it. For when men see you more haughty and more insolent than befits your past life, they resent it.

You have here a complete answer from me, so that you can desire nothing more. Nor do I ask for any further communication from you. But when you have read my letters use them for whatever purpose you please. For our friendship is at an end. Farewell, and divide your time between luxurious living and abuse of me!

1 -  Late 3or early 36Antioch. To the community of the Jews

In times past, by far the most burdensome thing in the yoke of your slavery has been the fact that you were subjected to unauthorised ordinances and had to contribute an untold amount of money to the accounts of the treasury. Of this I used to see many instances with my own eyes, and I have learned of more, by finding the records which are preserved against you. Moreover, when a tax was about to be levied on you again I prevented it, and compelled the impiety of such obloquy to cease here; and I threw into the fire the records against you that were stored in my desks; so that it is no longer possible for anyone to aim at you such a reproach of impiety. My brother Constantius of honoured memory was not so much responsible for these wrongs of yours as were the men who used to frequent his table, barbarians in mind, godless in soul. These I seized with my own hands and put them to death by thrusting them into the pit, that not even any memory of their destruction might still linger amongst us. And since I wish that you should prosper yet more, I have admonished my brother Iulus, your most venerable patriarch, that the levy which is said to exist among you should be prohibited, and that no one is any longer to have the power to oppress the masses of your people by such exactions; so that everywhere, during my reign, you may have security of mind, and in the enjoyment of peace may offer more fervid prayers for my reign to the Most High God, the Creator, who has deigned to crown me with his own immaculate right hand. For it is natural that men who are distracted by any anxiety should be hampered in spirit, and should not have so much confidence in raising their hands to pray; but that those who are in all respects free from care should rejoice with their whole hearts and offer their suppliant prayers on behalf of my imperial office to Mighty God, even to him who is able to direct my reign to the noblest ends, according to my purpose. This you ought to do, in order that, when I have successfully concluded the war with Persia, I may rebuild by my own efforts the sacred city of Jerusalem, which for so many years you have longed to see inhabited, and may bring settlers there, and, together with you, may glorify the Most High God therein.

1 - 52 Winter 36Antioch. To Libanius

Since you have forgotten your promise — at any rate three days have gone by and the philosopher Priscus has not come himself but has sent a letter to say that he still delays — I remind you of your debt by demanding payment. The thing you owe is, as you know, easy for you to pay and very pleasant for me to receive. So send your discourse and your "divine counsel," and do it promptly, in the name of Hermes and the Muses, for I assure you, in these three days you have worn me out, if indeed the Sicilian poet speaks the truth when he says, "Those who long grow old in a day." And if this be true, as in fact it is, you have trebled my age, my good friend. I have dictated this to you in the midst of public business. For I was not able to write myself because my hand is lazier than my tongue. Though indeed my tongue also has come to be somewhat lazy and inarticulate from lack of exercise. Farewell, brother, most dear and most beloved!

1 - 36Winter at Antioch. To Libanius

You have requited Aristophanes for his piety towards the gods and his devotion to yourself by changing and transforming what was formerly a reproach against him so that it redounds to his honour, and not for to-day only but for the future also, since the malicious charges of Paul and the verdict of So-and-so have no force compared with words written by you. For their calumnies were detested even while they flourished, and perished along with their perpetrators, whereas your speeches are not only prized by genuine Hellenes to-day but will still be prized in future times, unless I am mistaken in my verdict. For the rest, you shall judge whether you have convinced, or rather converted, me on behalf of Aristophanes. I now agree not to believe that he is too weak to resist pleasure and money. What point would I not yield to the most philosophic and truth-loving of orators? Naturally you will proceed to ask me why, in that case, I do not alter his unhappy lot for the better and blot out the disgrace that attaches to him on account of his ill fortune. "Two walking together," as the proverb says, namely, you and I, must take counsel. And you have the right, not only to advise that we ought to assist a man who has honoured the gods so straightforwardly, but also as to how it ought to be done. Indeed, you did hint at this in an obscure way. But it is perhaps better not to write about such matters, but to talk it over together. Farewell, brother, most dear and most beloved!

I read yesterday almost all your speech before breakfast, and after breakfast, before resting, I gave myself up to reading the remainder. Happy man to be able to speak so well, or rather to have such ideas! O what a discourse! what wit! what wisdom! what analysis! what logic! what method! what openings! what diction! what symmetry! what structure!

1 - Late in 36from Antioch. To Eustochius

The wise Hesiod thinks that we ought to invite our neighbours to our feasts that they may rejoice with us, since they sorrow and mourn with us when any unexpected misfortune befalls us. But I say that it is our friends that we ought to invite, rather than our neighbours; and for this reason, that it is possible to have a neighbour who is one's enemy, but that a friend should be an enemy is no more possible than for white to be black, or hot cold. And if there were no other proof that you are my friend not now only, but for a long time past, and that you have steadily maintained your regard for me, nevertheless the fact that my feeling for you has been and is what it is, would be strong evidence of that friendship. Come, therefore, that you may in person share my consulship. The state post will bring you, and you may use one carriage and an extra horse. And in case we ought to pray for further aid, I have invoked for you the blessing of the goddess of the Crossroads and the god of the Ways.

1 - To Photinus
Moreover the Emperor Julian, faithless to Christ, in his attack on Diodorus writes as follows to Photinus the heresiarch: O Photinus, you at any rate seem to maintain what is probably true, and come nearest to being saved, and do well to believe that he whom one holds to be a god can by no means be brought into the womb. But Diodorus, a charlatan priest of the Nazarene, when he tries to give point to that nonsensical theory about the womb by artifices and juggler's tricks, is clearly a sharp-witted sophist of that creed of the country-folk. A little further on he says: But if only the gods and goddesses and all the Muses and Fortune will lend me their aid, I hope to show that he is feeble and a corrupter of laws and customs, of pagan Mysteries and Mysteries of the gods of the underworld, and that that new-fangled Galilaean god of his, whom he by a false myth styles eternal, has been stripped by his humiliating death and burial of the divinity falsely ascribed to him by Diodorus. Then, just as people who are convicted of error always begin to invent, being the slaves of artifice rather than of truth, he goes on to say: For the fellow sailed to Athens to the injury of the general welfare, then rashly took to philosophy and engaged in the study of literature, and by the devices of rhetoric armed his hateful tongue against the heavenly gods, and being utterly ignorant of the Mysteries of the pagans he so to speak imbibed most deplorably the whole mistaken folly of the base and ignorant creed-making fishermen. For this conduct he has long ago been punished by the gods themselves. For, for many years past, he has been in danger, having contracted a wasting disease of the chest, and he now suffers extreme torture. His whole body has wasted away. For his cheeks have fallen in and his body is deeply lined with wrinkles. But this is no sign of philosophic habits, as he wishes it to seem to those who are deceived by him, but most certainly a sign of justice done and of punishment from the gods which has stricken him down in suitable proportion to his crime, since he must live out to the very end his painful and bitter life, his appearance that of a man pale and wasted.
1 - 36about February 1Antioch. Edict on Funerals

It was my duty, after considering with myself, to restore the ancient custom which I have now decided to confirm by a law. For when they considered the matter, the men of old, who made wise laws, believed that there is the greatest possible difference between life and death and thought that each of these two states has customs and practices peculiarly appropriate to it. For they thought that death is an unbroken rest, —and this is surely that "brazen sleep" of which the poets sing, — but that life, on the contrary, brings many pains and many pleasures, and now adversity, now greater prosperity. Considering thus, they enjoined that expiations connected with the departed should be conducted apart, and that apart from them the daily business of life should be carried on. Moreover, they held that the gods are the beginning and end of all things, and believed that while we live we are subject to the gods, and when we depart from this life we travel back to the gods. But perhaps it is not right to speak openly about these matters or to divulge whether both are in the hands of the same gods or one set of gods has charge of the living and another set the dead. However, if, as the Sun is the cause of day and night and winter and summer by his departure and arrival, so also the most venerable one of the gods themselves, unto whom are all things and from whom all things proceed, has appointed rulers over the living and allotted lords over the dead, then we ought to assign to both of these classes in turn what is fitting for them, and to imitate in our daily life the orderly arrangement of the gods in things which exist.

As I have said, death is rest; and night harmonises with rest. Therefore I think it is fitting that business connected with the burials of the dead should be performed at night, since for many reasons we ought to forbid anything of the sort to go on by day. Throughout the city men are going to and fro each on his own business, and all the streets are full of men going to the law-courts, or to or from the market, or sitting at work at their crafts, or visiting the temples to confirm the good hopes that the gods have vouchsafed. And then some persons or other, having laid a corpse on the bier, push their way into the midst of those who are busy about such matters. The thing is in every way intolerable. For those who meet the funeral are often filled with disgust, some because they regard it as an evil omen, while for others who are on the way to the temples it is not permitted to approach for worship till they have cleansed themselves from the pollution. For after such a sight it is not permitted to approach the gods who are the cause of life and of all things least akin to decay. And I have still to mention what is worse than this. And what is that? The sacred precincts and temples of the gods lie open; and it often happens that in one of them someone is sacrificing or pouring libations or praying, at the moment when men carrying a corpse are passing close by the temple itself, and the voice of lamentations and speech of ill omen is carried even to the altars.

Do you not understand that the functions belonging to the day and the night have been separated more than all other things? With good reason, therefore, has burial been taken out of the day and would be reserved for the night. For it is not right to deprecate the wearing of white for mourning and yet to bury the dead in the daytime and sunlight. The former was better, at least if it was not offensive to any of the gods, but the latter cannot escape being an act of impiety towards all the gods. For thereby men wrongly assign burial to the Olympian gods and wrongly alienate it from the gods of the underworld, or whatever else the guardians and lords of souls prefer to be called. And I know that those who are thoroughly versed and punctilious in sacred rites think it right to perform at night the ritual to the gods below or in any case not till after the tenth hour of the day. But if this is the better time for the worship of these gods, we will certainly not assign another time for the service of the dead.

What I have said suffices for those who are willing to obey. For now that they have learned what errors they used to commit, let them change to the better way. But if there be any man of such a character that he needs threat and penalty, let him know that he will incur the severest punishment if, before the tenth hour of the day, he shall venture to perform the offices for the corpse of any dead person and to carry it through the city. But let these things be done at sunset and before sunrise, and let the pure day be consecrated for pure deeds and the pure gods of Olympus.

1 - 57 36Antioch, just before Julian's Persian campaign. To Arsaces, Satrap of Armenia

Make haste, Arsacius, to meet the enemy's battle line and quicker than I tell you arm your right hand against the madness of the Persians. For my military preparations and my set purpose are for one of two things; either to pay the debt of nature within the Parthian frontier, after I have won the most glorious victories and inflicted on my foes the most terrible reverses, or to defeat them under the leadership of the gods and return to my native land as a conquering hero, after I have set up trophies of the enemy's defeat. Accordingly you must discard all sloth and cheating, and the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory, and the wealth of the nobles which was lavished in vain on you and on barbarians of your character by the most luxurious and extravagant Constantius, and now I warn you, take heed of me, Julian, supreme pontiff, Caesar, Augustus, the servant of the gods and of Ares, the destroyer of the Franks and barbarians, the liberator of the Gauls and of Italy. But if you form some other design, — for I learn that you are a rascal and a coward in war and a boaster, as the present condition of affairs proves; indeed I have heard that you are secretly trying to conceal at your court a certain enemy of the public welfare, — for the present I postpone this matter because of the fortune of war; for my alliance with the gods is enough to secure the destruction of the enemy. But if Destiny should also play some part in the decision, — for the purpose of the gods is her opportunity, — I will endure it fearlessly and like a brave man. Be assured that you will be an easy victim of the power of Persia when your hearth and home, your whole race and the kingdom of Armenia all blaze together. And the city of Nisibis also will share in your misfortune, for this the heavenly gods long since foretold to me.

1 - 36Mar. from Hierapolis. To Libanius, Sophist and Quaestor

I travelled as far as Litarbae, — it is a village of Chalcis, — and came on a road that still had the remains of a winter camp of Antioch. The road, I may say, was partly swamp, partly hill, but the whole of it was rough, and in the swamp lay stones which looked as though they had been thrown there purposely, as they lay together without any art, after the fashion followed also by those who build public highways in cities and instead of cement make a deep layer of soil and then lay the stones close together as though they were making a boundary-wall. When I had passed over this with some difficulty and arrived at my first halting-place it was about the ninth hour, and then I received at my headquarters the greater part of your senate. You have perhaps learned already what we said to one another, and, if it be the will of heaven, you shall know it from my own lips.

From Litarbae I proceeded to Beroea, and there Zeus by showing a manifest sign from heaven declared all things to be auspicious. I stayed there for a day and saw the Acropolis and sacrificed to Zeus in imperial fashion a white bull. Also I conversed briefly with the senate about the worship of the gods. But though they all applauded my arguments very few were converted by them, and these few were men who even before I spoke seemed to me to hold sound views. But they were cautious and would not strip off and lay aside their modest reserve, as though afraid of too frank speech. For it is the prevailing habit of mankind, O ye gods, to blush for their noble qualities, manliness of soul and piety, and to plume themselves, as it were, on what is most depraved, sacrilege and weakness of mind and body.

Next, Batnae entertained me, a place like nothing that I have ever seen in your country, except Daphne; but that is now very like Batnae, though not long ago, while the temple and statue were still unharmed, I should not have hesitated to compare Daphne with Ossa and Pelion or the peaks of Olympus, or Thessalian Tempe, or even to have preferred it to all of them put together. But you have composed an Oration on Daphne such as no other man "of such sort as mortals now are" could achieve, even though he used his utmost energies on the task, yes, and I think not very many of the ancient writers either. Why then should I try to write about it now, when so brilliant a monody has been composed in its honour? Would that none had been needed! However, to return to Batnae. Its name is barbarous but the place is Hellenic; I say so because through all the country round about the fumes of frankincense arose on all sides, and I saw everywhere victims ready for sacrifice. But though this gave me very great pleasure, nevertheless it looked to me like overheated zeal, and alien to proper reverence for the gods. For things that are sacred to the gods and holy ought to be away from the beaten track and performed in peace and quiet, so that men may resort thither to that end alone and not on the way to some other business. But this matter will perhaps before long receive the attention that is appropriate.

Batnae I saw to be a thickly wooded plain containing groves of young cypresses; and among these there was no old or decaying trunk, but all alike were in vigorous leafage. The imperial lodging was by no means sumptuous, for it was made only of clay and logs and had no decOrations; but its garden, though inferior to that of Alcinous, was comparable to the garden of Laertes. In it was a quite small grove full of cypresses and along the wall many trees of this sort have been planted in a row one after the other. Then in the middle were beds, and in these, vegetables and trees bearing fruits of all sorts. What did I do there, you ask? I sacrificed in the evening and again at early dawn, as I am in the habit of doing practically every day. And since the omens were favourable, we kept on to Hierapolis where the inhabitants came to meet us. Here I am being entertained by a friend who, though I have only lately met him for the first time has long been dear to me. I know that you yourself are well aware of the reason, but for all that it gives me pleasure to tell you. For it is like nectar to me to hear and to speak of these things continually. Sopater, the pupil of the god-like Iamblichus, was a relative by marriage of this Sopater. Not to love even as myself all that belonged to those men is in my opinion equivalent to the lowest baseness. But there is another more powerful reason than this. Though he often entertained my cousin and my half-brother and was often urged by them, naturally enough, to abandon his piety towards the gods,  and though this is hard to withstand, he was not infected with this disease.

Thus much, then, I was able to write to you from Hierapolis about my own affairs. But as regards the military or political arrangements, you ought, I think, to have been present to observe and pay attention to them yourself. For, as you well know, the matter is too long for a letter, in fact so vast that if one considered it in detail it would not be easy to confine it to a letter even three times as long as this. But I will tell you of these matters also, summarily, and in a very few words. I sent an embassy to the Saracens and suggested that they could come if they wished. That is one affair of the sort I have mentioned. For another, I despatched men as wide-awake as I could obtain that they might guard against anyone's leaving here secretly to go to the enemy and inform them that we are on the move. After that I held a court martial and, I am convinced, showed in my decision the utmost clemency and justice. I have procured excellent horses and mules and have mustered all my forces together. The boats to be used on the river are laden with corn, or rather with baked bread and sour wine. You can understand at what length I should have to write in order to describe how every detail of this business was worked out and what discussions arose over every one of them. As for the number of letters I have signed, and papers, — for these too follow me everywhere like my shadow, — why should I take the trouble to enumerate them now?

1 - To Maximus the Philosopher

We are told in the myth that the eagle, when he would test which of his brood are genuine, carries them still unfledged into the upper air and exposes them to the rays of the sun, to the end that he may become, by the testimony of the god, the sire of a true nursling and disown any spurious offspring. Even so I submit my speeches to you as though to Hermes the god of eloquence; and, if they can bear the test of being heard by you, it rests with you to decide concerning them whether they are fit to take flight to other men also. But if they are not, then fling them away as though disowned by the Muses, or plunge them in a river as bastards. Certainly the Rhine does not mislead the Celts, for it sinks deep in its eddies their bastard infants, like a fitting avenger of an adulterous bed; but all those that it recognises to be of pure descent it supports on the surface of the water and gives them back to the arms of the trembling mother, thus rewarding her with the safety of her child as incorruptible evidence that her marriage is pure and without reproach.

1 -  To Eugenius

We are told that Daedalus dared to do violence to nature by his art, and moulded wings of wax for Icarus. But for my part, though I applaud him for his art, I cannot admire his judgement. For he is the only man who ever had the courage to entrust the safety of his son to soluble wax. But if it were granted me, in the words of the famous lyric poet of Teos, to change my nature to a bird's, I should certainly not "fly to Olympus for Love," — no, not even to lodge a complaint against him — but I should fly to the very foothills of your mountains to embrace "thee, my darling," as Sappho says. But since nature has confined me in the prison of a human body and refuses to lighten and raise me aloft, I approach you with such wings as I possess, the wings of words, and I write to you, and am with you in such fashion as I can. Surely for this reason and this only Homer calls words "winged," that they are able to go to and fro in every direction, darting where they will, like the swiftest of birds. But do you for your part write to me too, my friend! For you possess an equal if not a larger share of the plumage of words, with which you are able to travel to your friends and from wherever you may be, just as though you were present, to cheer them.

1 - To Sopater

It is an occasion to rejoice the more when one has the chance to address friends through an intimate friend. For then it is not only by what you write that you unite the image of your own soul with your readers. And this is what I myself am doing. For when I despatched the custodian of my children, Antiochus, to you, I could not bear to leave you without a word of greeting. So that if you want to have news of me, you can have from him information of a more intimate sort. And if you care at all for your admirers, as I believe you do care, you will prove it by never missing an opportunity while you are able to write.

1 - 62 To Eucleides the Philosopher

Nay, when did you ever leave me, so that I need to write, or when do I not behold you with the eyes of the soul as though you were here with me? For not only do I seem to be with you continually and to converse with you, but I pay attention to my duties now just as zealously as when you were here to guide me. But if you do wish me to write to you, just as though you were not here, then take care that you do not yourself create the impression of not being with me all the more by your very wish that I should write. However, if you do really find pleasure in it I am willing to obey you in this also. At any rate, by your request, you will, as the proverb says, lead a galloping horse into the plain. Come then, see that you return like for like, and in answer to my counter-summons do not grow weary of the unbroken series of letters exchanged between us. And yet I have no wish to hinder the zeal that you display on behalf of the public welfare, nevertheless, in proportion as I keep you free for the pursuit of noble studies, I shall be thought, far from injuring it, to benefit the whole body of Hellenes at once, that is to say, if I leave you like a young and well-bred dog without interference, free to give all your time to tracking down, with a mind wholly free from all else, the art of writing discourses; but if you possess such swiftness that you need neither neglect your friends nor slacken in those other pursuits, come, take both courses and run at full speed!

1 - 63 To Hecebolius

Pindar thinks that the Muses are "silvery," and it is as though he likened the clearness and splendour of their art to the substance that shines most brilliantly. And the wise Homer calls silver "shining," and gives to water the epithet "silvery" because it gleams with the very brightness of the reflected image of the sun, as though under its direct rays. And Sappho the fair says that the moon is "silvery," and that because of this it dims the radiance of the other stars. Similarly one might imagine silver to be more appropriate to the gods than gold; but that to man, at any rate, silver is more precious than gold and more familiar to them because it is not, like gold, hidden under the earth and does not avoid their eyes, but is both beautiful to the eye and more serviceable in daily life, — this, I say, is not my own theory but was held by men of old. If, therefore, in return for the gold coin sent by you I give you a piece of silver of equal value, think not that the favour is less and do not imagine that, as with Glaucus, the exchange is to your disadvantage; for perhaps not even Diomede would have exchanged silver armour for golden, seeing that the former is far more serviceable than the latter, and like lead well fitted to turn the points of spears. All this I am saying in jest, and I take the cue for my freedom of speech to you from what you write yourself. But if you really wish to send me gifts more precious than gold, write, and keep on writing regularly. For even a short letter from you I hold to be more precious than any other blessing that one could name.

1 - To Lucian the Sophist

Not only do I write to you but I demand to receive payment in kind. And if I treat you ill by writing continually, then I beg you to ill-treat me in return and make me suffer in the same way.

1 - To Elpidius, a Philosopher

Even a short letter gives more pleasure when the writer's affection can be measured by the greatness of his soul rather than by the meagre proportions of what he writes. So that if I now address you briefly, do not even so conclude that the accompanying affection is equally slight, but since you know the full extent of my love for you, forgive the brevity of my letter and do not hesitate to answer me in one equally short. For whatever you send me, however trifling, keeps alive in my mind a remembrance of all that is good.

1 - 66 To George, a Revenue Official

Well, let us grant that Echo is a goddess, as you say she is, and a chatterbox, and, if you like, the wife of Pan also; for I shall not object. And even though nature would fain inform me that Echo is only the sound of the voice answering back when the air is struck, and bent back upon that which is opposite the ear that hears it, nevertheless, since I put my faith in the account given by men both ancient and modern, and in your own account no less, I am abashed into admitting that Echo is a goddess. What, in any case, would that matter to me, if only, in my expressions of friendship towards you, I excel Echo in a considerable degree? For she does not reply to all the sounds that she hears, but rather to the last syllables uttered by the voice, like a grudging sweetheart who returns her lover's kisses with the merest touch of her lips. I, on the other hand, in my correspondence with you, lead off sweetly, and then again, in reply to your challenge, I return you like for like as though I threw back a ball. Therefore you cannot be too quick in recognising that your letters put you in default, and that it is yourself, since you receive more and give back very little, whom you consign to the similitude of the figure, and not me, since I am eager to score off you in both ways. However, whether you give in just the same degree as you receive, or not, whatever I am permitted to receive from you is a boon, and is credited as sufficient to balance the whole.

1 - To George, a Revenue Official

"Thou hast come, Telemachus!" as the verse says, but in your letters I have already seen you and the image of your noble soul, and have received the impression thereof as of an imposing device on a small seal. For it is possible for much to be revealed in little. Nay even Pheidias the wise artist not only became famous for his statue at Olympia or at Athens, but he knew also how to confine a work of great art within the limits of a small piece of sculpture; for instance, they say that his grasshopper and bee, and, if you please, his fly also, were of this sort; for every one of these, though naturally composed of bronze, through his artistic skill became a living thing. In those works, however, the very smallness of the living models perhaps contributed the appearance of reality to his skilful art; and do you, please, look at his Alexander hunting on horseback, for its whole measurement is no larger than a fingernail. Yet the marvellous skill of the workmanship is so lavished on every detail that Alexander at one and the same time strikes his quarry and intimidates the spectator, scaring him by his whole bearing, while the horse, reared on the very tips of his hoofs, is about to take a step and leave the pedestal, and by creating the illusion of vigorous action is endowed with movement by the artist's skill. This is exactly the effect that you have on me, my excellent friend. For after having been crowned often, already, as victor over the whole course, so to speak, in the lists of Hermes, the God of Eloquence, you now display the highest pitch of excellence in a few written words. And in very truth you imitate Homer's Odysseus, who, by merely saying who he was, was able to dazzle the Phaeacians. But if even from me you require some of what you call "friendly smoke," I shall not begrudge it. Surely the mouse who saved the lion in the fable is proof enough that something useful may come even from one's inferiors.

1 - 68 To Dositheus

I am almost in tears — and yet the very utterance of your name ought to have been an auspicious sound, — for I recall to mind our noble and wholly admirable father. If you make it your aim to imitate him, not only will you yourself be happy but also you will give to human life, as he did, an example of which it will be proud. But if you are indolent you will grieve me, and you will blame yourself when blaming will not avail.

1 - To Himerius

I could not read without tears the letter which you wrote after your wife's death, in which you told me of your surpassing grief. For not only does the event in itself call for sorrow, when a young and virtuous wife, the joy of her husband's heart, and moreover the mother of precious children, is prematurely snatched away like a torch that has been kindled and shines brightly, and in a little while its flame dies down, but over and above this, the fact that it is you to whom this sorrow has come seems to me to make it still more grievous. For least of all men did our good Himerius deserve to experience any affliction, excellent orator that he is, and of all my friends the best beloved. Moreover, if it were any other man to whom I had to write about this, I should certainly have had to use more words in dealing with it; for instance, I should have said that such an event is the common lot, that we must needs submit, that nothing is gained by excessive grief, and I should have uttered all the other commonplaces considered appropriate for the alleviation of suffering, that is if I were exhorting one who did not know them. But since I think it unbecoming to offer to a man who well knows how to instruct others the sort of argument by which one must school those who are too ignorant for self-control, see now, I will forbear all such phrases; but I will relate to you a fable, or it may be a true story, of a certain wise man, which perhaps is not new to you, though it is probably unfamiliar to most people; and if you will use this and this alone, as though it were a drug to relieve pain, you will find release from your sorrow, as surely as from that cup which the Spartan woman is believed to have offered to Telemachus when his need was as great as your own. Now the story is that when Darius was in great grief for the death of a beautiful wife, Democritus of Abdera could not by any argument succeed in consoling him; and so he promised him that he would bring back the departed to life, if Darius were willing to undertake to supply him with everything necessary for the purpose. Darius bade him spare no expense but take whatever he needed and make good his promise. After waiting a little, Democritus said that he was provided with everything else for carrying out his task, but still needed one thing only, which he himself did not know how to obtain; Darius, however, as King of all Asia, would perhaps find it without difficulty. And when the King asked him what it might be, this great thing which it was possible for only a king to know of, they say that Democritus in reply declared that if he would inscribe on his wife's tomb the names of three persons who had never mourned for anyone, she would straightway come to life again, since she could not disobey the authority of this mystic rite. Then Darius was in a dilemma, and could not find any man who had not had to bear some great sorrow, whereupon Democritus burst out laughing, as was his wont, and said: "Why, then, O most absurd of men, do you mourn without ceasing, as though you were the only man who had ever been involved in so great a grief, you who cannot discover a single person of all who have ever lived who was without his share of personal sorrow?" But though it was necessary to say these things to Darius, a barbarian and a man of no education, the slave both of pleasure and of grief, you, on the other hand, are a Greek, and honour true learning, and you must find your remedy from within; for surely it would be a disgrace to the reasoning faculty if it had not the same potency as time.

1 - 70 To Diogenes

Your son Diogenes, whom I saw after you went away, told me that you had been much irritated with him for some reason that would naturally make a father feel vexed with his child, and he implored me to act as mediator in a reconciliation between him and yourself. Now, if he has committed some error of a mild and not intolerable kind, do you yield to nature, recognise that you are a father, and again turn your thoughts to your child. But if his offence is too serious to admit of immediate forgiveness, it is right for you yourself rather than for me to decide whether you ought to bear even that with a generous spirit and overcome your son's purpose by wiser thoughts, or to entrust the offender's probation to a longer period of discipline.

1 -  To Commander Gregory

Even a short letter from you is enough to provide me with grounds for feeling greatly pleased. Accordingly, since I was exceedingly pleased with what you wrote to me, I in turn send you a letter of the same length, because in my judgement the friendly greetings of comrades ought to be rewarded not by length of letter so much as by magnitude of goodwill.

1 - 72 To Plutarch

In all respects my bodily health is fairly good, and indeed my state of mind is no less satisfactory. I fancy there can be no better prelude than this to a letter sent from one friend to another. And to what is this the prelude? To a request, of course! And what is the request? It is for letters in return, and in their sentiments may they harmonise with my own letters and bring me similar news from you, and equally auspicious.

1 - To Maximinus

I have given orders that there shall be ships at Cenchreae. The number of these you will learn from the governor of the Hellenes, but as to how you are to discharge your commission you may now hear from me. It must be without bribery and without delay. I will myself, with the help of the gods, see that you do not repent of having done your duty as I have indicated.

Apocryphal letters
1 - To Iamblichus

I ought indeed to have obeyed the Delphic inscription "Know Thyself," and not have ventured to affront the ears of so great a man as yourself; for only to look you in the face, when one meets your eye, is no easy matter, and it is much less easy to try to rival you when you wake the harmony of your unfailing wisdom, seeing that if Pan roused the echoes with his shrill song everyone would yield him place, yes, even though it were Aristaeus himself, and when Apollo played the lyre everyone would keep silence, even though he knew the music of Orpheus. For it is right that the inferior, in so far as it is inferior, should yield to the superior, that is if it is to know what is appropriate to itself and what is not. But he who has conceived the hope of matching his mortal song with inspired music has surely never heard of the sad fate of Marsyas the Phrygian, or of the river which is named after him and bears witness to the punishment of that insane flute-player, nor has he heard of the end of Thamyris, the Thracian who, in an evil hour, strove in song against the Muses. Need I mention the Sirens, whose feathers the victorious Muses still wear on their brows? But each one of those that I have named is still even now paying in the tradition the fitting penalty for his boorishness and temerity, and I, as I said, ought to have stayed within my own boundaries and held my peace while I enjoyed my fill of the music uttered by you, like those who receive in silence the oracle of Apollo when it issues from the sacred shrine. But since you yourself furnish me with the keynote of my song, and by your words, as though with the wand of Hermes, arouse and wake me from sleep, lo now, even as when Dionysus strikes his thyrsus his followers rush riotous to the dance, so let me too in response to your plectron make answering music, like those who accompany the choirmaster, keeping time to the call of the rhythm. And in the first place let me make a first-offering to you, since this is your pleasure, of the speeches which I recently composed at the Emperor's command in honour of the glorious bridging of the strait,  though what I offer you is returning small for great and in very truth bronze for gold; yet I am entertaining our Hermes with such fare as I have. Surely Theseus did not disdain the plain meal that Hecale provided, but knew how to content himself with humble fare when the need arose. Nor was Pan, the god of shepherds, too proud to set to his lips the pipe of the boy neat-herd. Then do you also in your turn accept my discourse in a gracious spirit and do not refuse to lend your mighty ear to my humble strain. But if it has any cleverness at all, then not only is my discourse itself fortunate but so too is its author, in that he has obtained the testimony of Athene's vote. And if it still needs a finishing touch to complete it as a whole, do not refuse to add to it yourself what it needs. Before now the god in answer to prayer has stood by the side of a bowman and set his hand to the arrow, and again, when a bard was playing the cithara and singing a high and stirring strain, the Pythian god, when the string failed, assumed the guise of a cicada and uttered a note of the same tone.

1 - To Iamblichus

O Zeus, how can it be right that I should spend my time in the middle of Thrace and winter in the grain-pits here, while from charming Iamblichus, as though from a sort of spring in the East, letters come to me like swallows and I cannot yet go to him nor can he come to me? Who would be willing to put up with this unless he were some Thracian and as bad as Tereus?

"Lord Zeus do thou rescue the Achaeans from Thrace and make clear weather and grant us to see with our eyes" our own Hermes some day, and salute his shrine and embrace his statue as they tell us Odysseus did when after his wandering he beheld Ithaca. Nay, but he was still asleep when the Phaeacians unloaded him from their ship like a piece of freight and went their way; but as for me sleep can never lay hold on me till it be my lot to see you that are the benefactor of the whole world. And yet you say in jest that I and my friend Sopater have transported the whole East into Thrace. Yet, if I must speak the truth, Cimmerian gloom abides with me so long as Iamblichus is not here. And you demand one of two things, that I should go to you or that you yourself should come to me. To my mind one of these alternatives is both desirable and expedient, I mean that I should go to you and benefit by the blessings that you bestow, while the other surpasses all my prayers. But since this is impossible for you and inexpedient, do you remain at home and prosper and preserve the tranquillity that you enjoy, while I will endure with a brave spirit whatever God may send. For we are told that it is the proof of a good man to keep hoping for the best, to do his duty and follow his fate and the will of God.

1 - To Iamblichus

I confess that I had paid a full and sufficient penalty for leaving you, not only in the annoyances that I encountered on my journey, but far more in the very fact that I have been away from you for so long, though I have indeed endured so many and various fortunes everywhere, that I have left nothing untried. But though I have undergone the alarms of war, the rigour of a siege, the wandering of exile and all sorts of terrors, and moreover the extreme cold of winter, the dangers of disease and countless mischances of many kinds in my journey from Upper Pannonia till I crossed the Chalcedonian straits, I may say that nothing so painful or so distressing has happened to me as the fact that after I left the East I have not, for so long a time, seen you, the universal blessing of the Hellenes. So do not be surprised if I say that a sort of mist and thick cloud overshadows my eyes. For only then will a clear atmosphere and the brilliant light of the sun, and, so to speak, the fairest and truest springtime of my life, encompass me when I can embrace you, the delight and glory of the whole world, and, like the true son of a noble father who when hope is given up is seen returning from war, it may be, or from the stormy billows of the sea, can proceed to recount to you all that I have suffered and what dangers I have been through, and as I, so to speak, ride safely on a sacred anchor, can find at last a sufficient consolation for my misfortunes. For naturally it is a consolation and lightens the weight of sorrow when one unburdens one's experiences to others and shares with them the knowledge of one's sufferings in the intercourse of speech. Meanwhile, however, with what means I have I will, so far as I can approach you; and indeed I shall not cease, for the whole period of our separation, to conciliate you with letters by way of a token. And if I only receive the like from you, I shall be somewhat more submissive and shall hold converse with your letters, regarding them as a sort of symbol that you are safe and well. Do you, then, graciously accept what arrives from me, and show yourself still more gracious in making requital, since every noble utterance of yours, every written word, is reckoned by me as equivalent to the voice of Hermes the god of eloquence, or to the hand of Asclepius.

1 - To Iamblichus

"Thou hast come! well hast thou done!" You have indeed come, even though absent, by means of your letter — "And I was yearning for thee, and thou didst set ablaze my heart, already aflame with longing for thee." Nay, I neither refuse the love-philtre nor do I ever leave you at all, but with my soul I behold you as though you were present, and am with you when absent, and nothing is enough to quench my insatiate desire. Moreover, you also never slacken, but without ceasing you benefit those who are present with you and by your letters not only cheer but even heal those who are absent. At any rate, when someone not long ago gave me the news that a friend had come and brought letters from you, it happened that for three days I had been suffering from a disorder of the stomach, and in fact I was in acute physical pain, so that I was not even free from fever. But, as I said, when I was told that the person who had the letters was at my door I jumped up like one possessed, who has lost control of himself, and rushed out before what I wanted could arrive. And the moment that I merely took the letter in my hands, I swear by the very gods and by the love that burns in me for you, that instant my pains forsook me and at once the fever let me go, as though it were abashed by some manifest saving presence. But when I broke the seal and read the letter, can you imagine what feelings took possession of my soul at that moment or with what delight I was filled, or how I praised to the skies that dearest of winds, to quote your words, the lover's wind in very truth, the messenger of glad tidings — and loved it with good reason, since it had done me this service of bringing a letter from you, and like a winged thing had guided straight to me, with a fair and hurrying blast, that letter which brought me not only the pleasure of hearing good news of you but also salvation at your hands in my own illness? But how could I describe my other sensations when first I read the letter, or how could I find adequate words to betray my own passion? How often did I hark back from the middle to the beginning? How often did I fear that I should finish it before I was aware? How often, as though I were going round in a circle in the evolutions of a strophe, did I try to connect the contents of the last paragraph with the first, just as though in a song set to music I were making the leading note of the beginning the same as the closing bars of the measure? Or how describe what I did next — how often I held the letter to my lips, as mothers embrace their children, how often I kissed it with those lips as though I were embracing my dearest sweetheart, how often I invoked and kissed and held to my eyes even the superscription which had been signed by your own hand as though by a clear cut seal, and how I clung to the imprint of the letters as I should to the fingers of that sacred right hand of yours! I too "wish thee joy in full measure," as fair Sappho says, and not only "for just so long as we have been parted from one another," but may you rejoice evermore, and write to me and remember me with kindly thoughts. For no time shall ever pass by me in which I shall forget you, in any place, at any hour, in any word I speak. "But if ever Zeus permits me to return to my native land," and once more I humbly approach that sacred hearth of yours, do not spare me hereafter as you would a runaway, but fetter me, if you will, to your own beloved dwelling, making me captive like a deserter from the Muses, and then discipline me with such penalties as suffice for my punishment. Assuredly I shall submit to your jurisdiction not unwillingly, but with a good will and gladly, as to a kind father's provident and salutary correction. Moreover, if you would consent to trust me to sentence myself and allow me to suffer the penalty that I prefer, I would gladly fasten myself to your tunic, my noble friend, so that I might never for a moment leave your side but be with you always and closely attached to you wherever you are, like those two-bodied beings invented in the myths. Unless, indeed, in this case also the myths, though they tell us the story in jest, are describing in enigmatical words an extraordinary sort of friendship and by that close tie of a common being express the kinship of soul in both beings.

1 - To Iamblichus

I am sensible of the sweet-tempered manner in which you reproach me, and that you achieve two things with equal success, for you do me honour by what you write and instruct me by your criticisms. And for my part, if I were conscious of even the least failure in the attention due to you, I should certainly try by making reasonable excuses to parry your criticism, or if I were in fault I should not hesitate to ask your forgiveness, especially as I know that you are not implacable towards your friends when they have involuntarily failed in some friendly office to you. But as it is — since it was not right either for you to be neglected or for me to be careless if we were to attain that which we ever seek after and desire — come, I will plead my case before you as though by the rules of a lawsuit, and I will prove that far from having neglected any of my duties towards you I have never even ventured to postpone them.

It is now three years since I arrived from Pannonia, with difficulty escaping safely from the dangers and troubles that you know of. When I had crossed the Chalcedonian strait and approached the city of Nicomedia, to you first as though to the god of my fathers I paid vows as the first thank-offering for my deliverance, by sending you as a token of my arrival my salutation in place of a sacred offering. The man who took charge of my letter was one of the imperial guard named Julian, the son of Bacchylus, a native of Apamea, and to him I all the more readily entrusted the letter because he asserted that he was going in your direction and that he knew you very well. Afterwards, as though from Apollo, a sacred letter came to me from you, in which you declared that you had been pleased to hear of my arrival. This was to my mind an auspicious omen and a fount of fairest hopes, — Iamblichus the wise and the letter of Iamblichus to me. Need I say how I rejoiced or assure you how deeply I was moved by your letter? For if you had received what I wrote to you with no other purpose — and it was sent to you by one of the couriers who came from where you are, — you would certainly know from what I then said how great was the pleasure that I felt on receiving it.  Again, when the custodian of my children was returning home, I began another letter to you in which I at the same time spoke to you of my gratitude for your previous favours and begged for a like return from you for the immediate future. After this the excellent Sopatercame on an embassy to our city. When I recognised him I at once started up and flew to him and when I had embraced him I wept for joy, dreaming of nothing else but you and a letter from you to me. And when I received it I kissed it and held it to my eyes and kept tight hold of it as though I were afraid that while I was in the act of reading your letter the phantom of your image might elude me and fly away. And, moreover, I at once wrote an answer, not to you only but also to the revered Sopater, that great man's son, telling him, as though giving myself airs, that I accepted our mutual friend from Apamea as a sort of hostage for your absence. This is the third letter that I have written to you since that time, but I have myself received no other letter from you save that in which you seem to reproach me.

Now if you are accusing me merely for the purpose of providing me with further motives for writing to you, and only pretend to reproach me, then I am very glad to receive your criticism, and in this very letter that has now come I take to myself the whole of the kindness implied. But if you really accuse me of being in any way remiss in my duty to you, "who could be more wretched than I" through the wrongdoing or negligence of letter-carriers, when I, least of all men, deserve the reproach? And yet even if I do not write oftener I may well claim indulgence from you — I do not mean because of the many affairs which I have on my hands — for may I never sink so low as not to count you more important than any business whatever, as Pindar says! — but because there is more wisdom in hesitating to write more than is fitting to so great a man as yourself, whom one cannot so much as think of without awe, than in being too presumptuous. For even as those who venture to gaze steadily at the bright beams of Helios, unless indeed they be in some sort divine and like the genuine offspring of eagles can brave his rays, are unable to behold what is not lawful for their eyes to see, and the more they strive for this the more do they show that they have not the power to attain it, even so, I say, he who ventures to write to you shows clearly that the more he allows himself to presume the more he ought to be afraid. For you, however, my noble friend, who have been appointed as the saviour, so to speak, of the whole Hellenic world, it would have been becoming not only to write to me without stint, but also to allay as far as you could the scruples felt by me. For as Helios — if my argument may again employ in reference to you a simile from the god, — even as Helios, I say, when he shines in full splendour with his brilliant rays rejects naught of what encounters his beams, but ever performs his function, so ought you also not to shrink from bountifully pouring forth the flood of your blessings like light over the Hellenic world even when, whether from modesty, or fear of you, one is too bashful to make any return. Asclepius, again, does not heal mankind in the hope of repayment, but everywhere fulfils his own function of beneficence to mankind. This, then, you ought to do also, as though you were the physician of souls endowed with eloquence, and you ought to keep up on all occasions the preaching of virtue, like a skilled archer who, even though he have no opponent, keeps training his hand by every means in view of future need. For in truth we two have not the same ambition, since mine is to secure the wise teachings that flow from you and yours is to read letters sent by me. But as for me, though I should write ten thousand times, mine is still mere child's play, and I am like the boys in Homer who on the sea-shores model something in wet sand and then abandon it all for the sea to wash away; whereas even a short letter from you is more potent than any fertilising flood, and for my part I would rather receive one letter from Iamblichus than possess all the gold of Lydia. If, then, you care at all for your fond admirers — and you do care if I am not mistaken — do not neglect me who am like a fledgling constantly in need of sustenance from you, but write regularly, and moreover do not be reluctant to feast me on the good things that come from you. And if I prove to be remiss, do you take on yourself to provide both things, not only what you yourself give but equally what you furnish in my place. For it befits you as a pupil of Hermes, the god of eloquence, or, if you prefer, his nursling, to desire to imitate his use of the wand, not by putting men to sleep, but by rousing and awakening them.

1 - To Iamblichus

When Odysseus was trying to remove his son's illusion about him, it was enough for him to say: "No God am I. Why then do you liken me to the immortals?" But I might say that I do not exist at all among men so long as I am not with Iamblichus. Nay, I admit that I am your lover, even as Odysseus that he was the father of Telemachus. For even though someone should say that I am unworthy, not even so shall he deprive me of my longing. For I have heard that many men have fallen in love with beautiful statues and far from injuring the art of the craftsman they have by their passion for them imparted to the workmanship the added delight in what lives and breathes. But as for the wise men of old among whom you are pleased to reckon me in jest, I should say that I fall as far short of them as I believe that you are to be ranked among them. And indeed you have succeeded in combining with yourself not only Pindar or Democritus or most ancient Orpheus, but also that whole genius of the Hellenes which is on record as having attained to the summit of philosophy, even as in a lyre by the harmonious combination of various notes the perfection of music is achieved. And just as the myths give Argus, Io's guardian, an encircling ring of ever-wakeful eyes as he keeps watch over the darling of Zeus, so too does true report endow you, the trusted guardian of virtue, with the light of the countless eyes of culture. They say that Proteus the Egyptian used to change himself into various shapes as though he feared being taken unawares and showing those who needed his aid that he was wise. But for my part, if Proteus was really wise and the sort of man to know the truth about many things, as Homer says, I applaud him for his talent, but I cannot admire his attitude of mind, since he played the part, not of one who loves mankind, but of an impostor by concealing himself in order to avoid being of service to mankind. But who, my noble friend, would not genuinely admire you, since though you are inferior in no way to wise Proteus if not even more fully initiated than he in consummate virtues, you do not begrudge mankind the blessings that you possess, but, like the bright sun, you cause the rays of your pure wisdom to shine on all men, not only by associating, as is natural, with those near you, but also as far as possible by making the absent proud through your writings. And in this way by your achievements you surpass even charming Orpheus; for he squandered on the ears of wild beasts his own peculiar musical gift, but you, as though you had been born to save the whole human race,  emulate everywhere the hand of Asclepius and pervade all things with the saving power of your eloquence. Wherefore I think that Homer, too, if he were to return to life, would with far more justice allude to you in the verse:

"One is still alive and is detained in the wide world."

For, in very truth, for those of us who are of the antique mould, a sacred spark, so to speak, of true and life-giving culture is kindled by your aid alone. And grant, Ο Zeus the saviour, and Hermes, god of eloquence, that this blessing which is the common property of the whole world, even the charming Iamblichus, may be preserved for the longest possible period of time! Indeed, there is no doubt that in the case of Homer and Plato and Socrates and others who were worthy to be of that company, the prayers of the just were successful and did avail men of old, and thus increased and prolonged the natural term of those great men's lives. So there is no reason why in our day, also, a man who in his eloquence and virtuous life is the peer of those famous men, should not by means of similar prayers be conducted to the extreme limit of old age for the happiness of mankind.

1 - 80 To the most illustrious Sarapion

People observe the public festivals in various ways. But I am sending you a hundred long-stalked, dried, homegrown figs as a sweet token of this pleasant festal season. If you measure the gift by its size, the pleasure I offer you is trifling, but if measured by its beauty it will perhaps suffice. It is the opinion of Aristophanes that figs are sweeter than anything else except honey, and on second thoughts he does not allow that even honey is sweeter than figs. Herodotus the historian also, in order to describe a really barren desert thought it enough to say: "They have no figs or anything else that is good"; as though to say that among the fruits of the earth there is none to be ranked above figs, and that where men had figs they did not wholly lack something good. Again, the wise Homer praises other fruits for their size or colour or beauty, but to the fig alone he allows the epithet "sweet." And he calls honey "yellow," for fear he should inadvertently call "sweet" what is in fact often bitter; accordingly, to the fig alone he assigns this epithet for its own, just as he does to nectar, because alone of all things it is sweet. Indeed Hippocrates says that honey, though it is sweet to the taste, is quite bitter to the digestion, and I can believe his statement; for all agree that it produces bile and turns the juices to the very opposite of its original flavour, which fact even more surely convicts it of being in its origin naturally bitter. For it would not change to this bitterness if in the beginning this quality had not belonged to it, from which it changed to the reverse. But the fig is not only sweet to taste but it is still better for digestion. And it is so beneficial to mankind that Aristotle even says that it is an antidote for every deadly poison, and that for no other reason than this is it served before other food as a first course at meals and then at the end for dessert, as though we embraced it in preference to any other sacred means of averting the injury caused by the things we eat. Moreover, that the fig is offered to the gods also, and is set on the altar in every sacrifice, and that it is better than any frankincense for making fragrant fumes, this is a statement not made by me alone, but whoever is acquainted with its use knows that it is the statement of a wise man, a hierophant. Again, the admirable Theophrastus in his precepts of agriculture, when he is describing the kinds of grafted trees and what sorts admit of being grafted on one another, commends the fig tree above all other plants, if I am not mistaken, as being able to receive various and different kinds, and as the only one of them all that easily bears a growth of any other sort, if you cut out every one of its boughs and then break off and insert a different engrafted stock into each of the cleft stumps; hence to look at it is often equivalent to a complete garden, since it returns you the variegated and manifold splendours of other fruits, as happens in the loveliest orchard. And whereas the fruits of other fruit-bearing trees are short-lived and cannot last for any time, the fig alone can survive beyond the year, and is present at the birth of the fruit that is to follow it. Hence Homer also says that in the garden of Alcinous the fruits "wax old on" one another. Now in the case of other fruits this might perhaps seem to be a poetic fiction, but for the fig alone it would be consistent with the plain fact, because alone of all fruits it lasts for some time. Such, I think, is the nature of the fig in general, but the kind that grows with us is much better than others; so that in proportion as the fig is more valuable than other plants, our fig is more admirable than the fig in general; and while the latter in its kind surpasses all other fruits, it is in its turn excelled by ours, and again holds its own by comparison in both respects, first in being plainly superior, and secondly, in points where it seems to be inferior it wins on the general count. And it is quite natural that this should be so in our country alone. For it was fitting, I think, that the city which in very truth belongs to Zeus and is the eye of the whole East, — I mean sacred and most mighty Damascus, — which in all other respects bears the palm, for instance, for the beauty of its shrines and the size of its temples and for its exquisitely tempered climate and the splendour of its fountains, the number of its rivers and the fertility of its soil — I say it is fitting that she alone should keep up her reputation by the possession of a plant of this excellence and thus excite an excess of admiration. Accordingly our tree does not brook transplanting, nor does it overstep the natural boundaries of its growth, but as though by a law that governs the indigenous plant refuses to grow in colonies abroad. The same sorts of gold and silver are, I believe, produced in many places, but our country alone gives birth to a plant that cannot be grown anywhere else. And just like the wares of India, or Persian silks, or all that is produced and collected in the country of the Ethiopians but travels everywhere by the law of commerce, so, too, our native fig does not grow anywhere else on earth, but is exported by us to all parts, and there is no city or island to which it does not travel, because it is so much admired for its sweet flavour. Moreover it even adorns the imperial table and is the boast and ornament of every feast; and there is no cake or roll or pastry or any kind of confectionery to match it as a sweetmeat wherever it comes; so far does it surpass in admirable qualities all other dainties, and moreover all figs from any other place. Again, other figs are either eaten in autumn, or are dried and go to the store-room, but the fig of our country alone can be used in both ways, and though it is good while on the tree it is far better when it has been dried. And should you see with your own eyes their beauty while they are still on the trees, and how from each one of the branches they hang by long stalks like flower-buds, so to speak, or again, how with their fruit they completely encircle the tree, then you would say that by this circular series one above another they compose a splendid and varied picture even as a neck in its necklace. Then again, the manner in which they are taken from the tree and the means employed for preserving them for a long time involve quite as much outlay as the pleasure derived from their use. For they are not, like other kinds of figs, thrown together in one place, nor are they dried in the sun in heaps or promiscuously; but first they are gathered carefully by hand from the trees, then they are hung-on walls by means of sticks or thorny twigs, so that they may be bleached by exposure to the direct rays of the sun while they are also safe from the attacks of animals and small birds, since the protection of the prickles furnishes them with a sort of bodyguard. So far my letter to you deals with their origin, sweetness, beauty, confection, and use, and is in lighter vein.

Now to consider the number one hundred, which is more honourable than any other and contains in itself the perfection of all numbers, as one may learn from the following considerations. I am indeed well aware that there is a saying of wise men of old that an odd number is to be preferred to an even, and they declare that the source of increase is that which does not couple. For in a pair the one term being equal to the other remains of the same quality, but when there are two numbers the third produces oddness. But for my part, even though the statement is somewhat bold, I would nevertheless say this: Numbers surely depend on a generative principle, and can carry on consecutive increase through the whole series. But I hold that it is far more just to assign the cause of that increase to the even than to the odd number. For the number one is not odd, when it has no number in respect to which it were odd. But its coupling with two produces twofold oddness, and the number three, coming from the two, naturally proceeds as increase. Then again when we add two to two, the result is the higher stage of the number four, and, in a word, their conjunction, while making oddness clear in each of their two elements, is constituted in the number two. This being granted, I should say, of course, that when the first decad is revolving on itself in a circle, the whole series progresses to the number one hundred, so that by the number one the increase amounts to ten, and the decad in turn is added each time to itself, and the total is reached in the number one hundred. And starting again from this point, with the hundreds, the whole series of numbers derive their power, by the activity of the number one, except that it is the number two when combined with it that ever produces the odd and again recalls it to itself, until again it concludes with a second hundred the sum of all the numbers, and, making it complete, proceeds again from it to another and under the denomination of hundreds continually carries forward the sum to the conception of infinity. So I think that Homer too in his poems does not lightly or idly assign to Zeus the hundred-tasselled aegis, but in a lofty and obscure saying he hinted at this that to the most perfect god he attached the most perfect number, that number by which alone beyond all the others he would most fittingly be adorned, or because the whole universe which he has comprehended in the shape of an aegis, by reason of the roundness of that image, no other number than the hundred describes, and so with the round number one hundred he harmonises the conception of the intelligible world as a whole. Again, on the same principle he makes Briareus with his hundred hands the assessor of Zeus and allows him to rival his father's might, as though he expressed the perfection of his strength by means of the perfect number. Again, Pindar the Theban, when he celebrates the destruction of Typhoeus in his odes of victory, and ascribes to the most mighty ruler of the gods power over this most mighty giant, rises to the highest pitch of praise simply because with one blow he was able to lay low the hundred-headed giant, as though no other giant was held worthy to fight hand to hand with Zeus than he whom, alone of all the rest, his mother had armed with a hundred heads; and as though no other of the gods save Zeus only were worthy to win a victory by the destruction of so great a giant. Simonides also, the lyric poet, thinks it enough for his praise of Apollo that he should call the god "Hekatos" and adorn him with this title rather than with any other sacred symbol; for this reason, that he overcame the Python, the serpent, with a hundred shafts, as he says, and the god himself took more pleasure in being addressed as "Hekatos" than as "the Pythian," as if he were thus invoked by the symbolic expression of his complete title. Then again, the island Crete which nurtured Zeus, has received as her reward, as though it were her fee for sheltering Zeus, the honour of cities to the number of one hundred. Homer too praises Thebes the hundred-gated for no other reason than this that there was a marvellous beauty in her hundred gates. I say nothing of the hecatombs of the gods and temples a hundred feet long, altars with a hundred steps, rooms that hold a hundred men, fields of a hundred acres and other things divine and human which are classed together because they have this number for their epithet. It is a number, moreover, that has the power to adorn official rank both for war and peace, and while it lends brilliance to a company of a hundred soldiers it also confers distinction on the title of judges when their number is one hundred. And I could say more than this, but the etiquette of letter-writing deters me. But do you be indulgent to my discourse, for what I have said already is more than enough. And if my essay has in your judgement even a mediocre elegance it shall surely go forth for others to read, after receiving the testimonial of your vote; but if it need another hand to make it fulfil its aim, who better than you should know how to polish the manuscript to the point of elegance and make it smooth so as to give pleasure to the eye?

1 - To Basil

Up to the present I have displayed the innately mild and humane temper that I have shown since childhood, and have brought under my sway all who dwell on the earth beneath the sun. For lo, every tribe of barbarians as far as the boundaries of the river of Ocean has come bringing gifts to lay at my feet! And likewise the Sagadares who are bred on the banks of the Danube, and the Cotti with headdresses of many shapes and colours, who are not like the rest of mankind to look at, but have a fierce and wild appearance. These at the present time are grovelling in my footprints and promise to do whatever suits my majesty's pleasure. And not only am I distracted by this, but I must with all speed occupy the country of the Persians and put to flight the great Sapor, who is the descendant of Darius, until he consents to pay me tribute and taxes. Afterwards I must also sack the settlements of the Indians and Saracens, until they too shall all take second place in my Empire and consent to pay tribute and taxes. But you have in your own person displayed a pride far exceeding the power of all these, when you say that you are clothed in pious reserve, but in fact flaunt your impudence, and spread a rumour on all sides that I am not worthy to be Emperor of the Romans. What! Do you not yourself know that I am a descendant of the most mighty Constans? And although this your conduct has come to my knowledge I have not, as concerns you, departed from my former attitude — I mean that mutual regard which you and I had when we were young men of the same age. But with no harshness of temper I decree that you shall despatch to me one thousand pounds weight of gold, as I march by Caesarea, to be paid without my leaving the high-road, since I purpose to march with all speed to carry on the war with Persia, and I am prepared, if you do not do this, to lay waste the whole district of Caesarea, to tear down on the spot those fine buildings erected long ago, and to set up instead temples and images, that so I may persuade all men to submit to the Emperor of Rome and not be inflated with conceit. Accordingly, weigh the above-mentioned gold to that amount on Campanian scales, oversee it yourself and measure it carefully and despatch it safely to me by someone of your household in whom you have confidence, and first seal it with your own seal-ring, so that, if you have recognised, late though it be, that the occasion admits of no evasion, I may deal mildly with your errors of the past. For what I read, I understood and condemned.

1 - 82 Letter from Gallus Caesar to his brother Julian

Gallus Caesar to his brother Julian, Greeting.

My nearness to the country, I mean to Ionia, has brought me the greatest possible gain. For it gave me comfort when I was troubled and pained at the first reports that came to me. You will understand what I mean. It came to my ears that you had abandoned your former mode of worship which was handed down by our ancestors, and goaded by some evil kind of madness that incited you to this, had betaken yourself to that vain superstition. What pain should I not have suffered? For just as whenever I learn by public rumour of any noble quality in you I regard it as a personal gain, so too if I hear of anything disturbing, which, however, I do not think I shall, in the same way I consider it even more my personal loss. Therefore when I was troubled about these matters, the presence of our father Aetius cheered me, for he reported the very contrary, which was what I prayed to hear. Moreover he said that you were zealous in attendance at the houses of prayer, and that you are not being drawn away from pious remembrance of the martyrs, and he affirmed that you entirely adhere to the religion of our family. So I would say to you in the words of Homer, "Shoot on in this wise," and rejoice those who love you by being spoken of in such terms, remembering that nothing is higher than religion. For supreme virtue teaches us to hate a lie as treachery and to cling to the truth, which truth is most clearly made manifest in the worship of the Divine Being. For a crowd is wholly contentious and unstable; but the Deity, ministering alone with but one other, rules the universe, not by division or lot, like the sons of Cronos, but existing from the beginning and having power over all things, not having received it from another by violence, but existing before all. This is verily God, whom we must adore with the reverence that we owe to him. Farewell!

1 - Eustathius the Philosopher to Julian

What an advantage it was for me that the token came late! For instead of riding, in fear and trembling, in the public carriage and, in encounters with drunken mule-drivers and mules made restive, as Homer says, from idleness and overfeeding, having to endure clouds of dust and a strange dialect and the cracking of whips, it was my lot to travel at leisure by a road arched over with trees and well-shaded, a road that had numerous springs and resting-places suitable to the summer season for a traveller who seeks relief from his weariness on the way; and where I always found a good place to stop, airy and shaded by plane trees or cypresses, while in my hand I held the Phaedrus or some other of Plato's dialogues. Now all this profit, Ο beloved, I gained from the freedom with which I travelled; therefore I considered that it would be unnatural not to communicate this also to you, and announce it.

2 To Themistius the philosopher
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I earnestly desire to fulfil your hopes of me even as you express them in your letter, but I am afraid I shall fall short of them, since the expectations you have raised both in the minds of others, and still more in your own, are beyond my powers. There was a time when I believed that I ought to try to rival men who have been most distinguished for excellence, Alexander, for instance, or Marcus; but I shivered at the thought and was seized with terror lest 1 should fail entirely to come up to the courage of the former, and should not make even the least approach to the latter's perfect virtue. With this in mind I convinced myself that I preferred a life of leisure, and I both gladly recalled the Attic manner of living, and thought myself to be in sweet accord with you who are my friends, just as those who carry heavy burdens lighten their labour by singing. But by your recent letter you have increased my fears, and you point to an enterprise in every way more difficult. You say that God has placed me in the same position as Heracles and Dionysus of old who, being at once philosophers and kings, purged almost the whole earth and sea of the evils that infested them. You bid me shake off all thought of leisure and inactivity that I may prove to be a good soldier worthy of so high a destiny. And besides those examples you go on to remind me of law-givers such as Solon, Pittacus, and Lycurgus, and you say that men have the right to expect from me now greater things than from any of these. When I read these words I was almost dumbfounded; for on the one hand I was sure that it was unlawful for you as a philosopher to flatter or deceive; on the other hand I am fully conscious that by nature there is nothing remarkable about me there never was from the first nor has there come to be now, but as regards philosophy I have only fallen in love with it (I say nothing of the fates that have intervened to make that love so far ineffectual). I could not tell therefore how I ought to interpret such expressions, until God brought it into my mind that perhaps by your very praises you wished to exhort me, and to point out how great are those trials to which a statesman must inevitably be exposed every day of his life.

But your method is more likely to discourage than to make one eager for such an existence. Suppose that a man were navigating your strait, and were finding even that none too easy or safe, and then suppose some professional soothsayer should tell him that he would have to traverse the Aegaean and then the Ionian Sea, and finally embark on the outer sea. "Here," that prophet would say, "you see towns and harbours, but when you arrive there you will see not so much as a watch-tower or a rock, but you will be thankful to descry even a ship in the distance and to hail her crew. You will often pray to God that you may, however late, touch land and reach a harbour, though that were to be the last day of your life. You will pray to be allowed to bring home your ship safe and sound and restore your crew unscathed to their friends, and then to commit your body to mother earth. And this indeed may happen, but you will not be sure of it until that final day." Do you think that such a man after being told all this would choose even to live in a sea-port town? Would he not bid adieu to money-making and all the advantages of commerce, and caring little for troops of friends and acquaintances abroad, and all that he might learn about nations and cities, would he not approve the wisdom of the son of Neocles who bids us "Live in obscurity"? Indeed, you apparently perceived this, and by your abuse of Epicurus you tried to forestall me and to eradicate beforehand any such purpose. For you go on to say that it was to be expected that so idle a man as he should commend leisure and conversations during walks. Now for my part I have long been firmly convinced that Epicurus was mistaken in that view of his, but whether it be proper to urge into public life any and every man, both him who lacks natural abilities and him who is not yet completely equipped, is a point that deserves the most careful consideration. We are told that Socrates dissuaded from the statesman's profession many who had no great natural talent, and Glaucon too, Xenophon tells us; and that he tried to restrain the son of Cleinias also, but could not curb the youth's impetuous ambition. Then shall we try to force into that career men who are reluctant and conscious of their deficiencies, and urge them to be self-confident about such great tasks? For in such matters not virtue alone or a wise policy is paramount, but to a far greater degree Fortune holds sway throughout and compels events to incline as she wills. Chrysippus indeed, though in other respects he seems a wise man and to have been rightly so esteemed, yet in ignoring fortune and chance and all other such external causes that fall in to block the path of men of affairs, he uttered paradoxes wholly at variance with facts about which the past teaches us clearly by countless examples. For instance, shall we call Cato a fortunate and happy man? Or shall we say that Dio of Sicily had a happy lot? It is true that for death they probably cared nothing, but they did care greatly about not leaving unfinished the undertakings which they had originally set on foot, and to secure that end there is nothing that they would not have endured. In that they were disappointed, and I admit that they bore their lot with great dignity, as we learn, and derived no small consolation from their virtue; but happy one could not call them, seeing that they had failed in all those noble enterprises, unless perhaps according to the Stoic conception of happiness. And with regard to that same Stoic conception we must admit that to be applauded and to be counted happy are two very different things, and that if every living thing naturally desires happiness, it is better to make it our aim to be congratulated on the score of happiness rather than to be applauded on the score of virtue. But happiness that depends on the chances of Fortune is very rarely secure. And yet men who are engaged in public life cannot, as the saying is, so much as breathe unless she is on their side . . . and they have created a merely verbal idea of a leader who is established somewhere above all the chances of Fortune in the sphere of things incorporeal and intelligible, just as men define the ideas, whether envisaging them truly or falsely imagining them. Or again they give us the ideal man, according to Diogenes "The man without a city, without a home, bereft of a fatherland," that is to say, a man who can gain nothing from Fortune, and on the other hand has nothing to lose. But one whom we are in the habit of calling, as Homer did first, "The man to whom the people have been entrusted and so many cares belong," how I ask shall we lead him beyond the reach of Fortune and keep his position secure? Then again, if he subject himself to Fortune, how great the provision he will think he must make, how great the prudence he must display so as to sustain with equanimity her variations in either direction, as a pilot must sustain the variations of the wind!

Yet it is nothing wonderful to withstand Fortune when she is merely hostile, but much more wonderful is it to show oneself worthy of the favours she bestows. By her favours the greatest of kings, the conqueror of Asia was ensnared, and showed himself more cruel and more insolent than Darius and Xerxes, after he had become the master of their empire. The shafts of her favours subdued and utterly destroyed the Persians, the Macedonians, the Athenian nation, Spartan magistrates, Roman generals, and countless absolute monarchs besides. It would be an endless business to enumerate all who have fallen victims to their wealth and victories and luxury. And as for those who, submerged by the tide of their misfortunes, from free men have become slaves, who have been humbled from their high estate after all their splendour and become poor and mean in the eyes of all men, what need now to go through the list of them as though I were copying it from a written record? Would that human life afforded no such instances! But it does not nor ever will lack such, so long as the race of man endures.

And to show that I am not the only one who thinks that Fortune has the upper hand in practical affairs, I will quote to you a passage from that admirable work the Laws of Plato. You know it well and indeed taught it to me, but I have set down the speech which runs something like this, and offer it as a proof that I am not really indolent. "God governs all things and with God Fortune and Opportunity govern all human affairs: but there is a milder view that Art must needs go with them and must be their associate." He then indicates what must be the character of a man who is the craftsman and artificer of noble deeds and a divinely inspired king. Then he says: "Kronos therefore, as I have already related, knew that human nature when endowed with supreme authority is never in any case capable of managing human affairs without being filled with insolence and injustice; therefore^ having regard to this he at that time set over our cities as kings and governors not men but beings of a more divine and higher race, I mean demons; thus doing as we do now for our flocks and domestic herds. We never appoint certain oxen to rule over other oxen or goats to rule over goats, but we are their masters, a race superior to theirs. In like manner then God, since he loves mankind, has set over us a race of beings superior to ourselves, the race of demons; and they with great ease both to themselves and us undertake the care of us and dispense peace, reverence, aye, and above all justice without stint, and thus they make the tribes of men harmonious and happy. And that account is a true one which declares that in our day all cities that are governed not by a god but by a mortal man have no relief from evils and hardships. And the lesson is that we ought by every means in our power to imitate that life which is said to have existed in the days of Kronos: and in so far as the principle of immortality is in us we ought to be guided by it in our management of public and private affairs, of our houses and cities, calling the distribution of mind 'law.' But whether the government be in the hands of one man or of an oligarchy or democracy, if it have a soul that hankers after pleasure and the lower appetites and demands to indulge these, and if such a one rule over a city or individual having first trampled on the laws, there is no means of salvation."

I have purposely set down the whole of this speech for you lest you should think that I am cheating and defrauding by bringing forward ancient myths which may have some resemblance to the truth, but on the whole are not composed with regard to truth. But what is the true meaning of this narrative? You hear what it says, that even though a prince be by nature human, he must in his conduct be divine and a demi-god and must completely banish from his soul all that is mortal and brutish, except what must remain to safeguard the needs of the body. Now if, reflecting on this, one is afraid to be constrained to adopt a life from which so much is expected, do you therefore conclude that one admires the inaction recommended by Epicurus, the gardens and suburbs of Athens and its myrtles, or the humble home of Socrates? But never has anyone seen me prefer these to a life of toil. That toil of mine I would willingly recount to you, and the hazards that threatened me from my friends and kinsfolk at the time when I began to study under you, if you did not yourself know them well enough. You are well aware of what I did, in the first place, in Ionia in opposition to one who was related to me by ties of blood, but even more closely by ties of friendship, and that in behalf of a foreigner with whom I was very slightly acquainted, I mean the sophist. Did I not endure to leave the country for the sake of my friends? Indeed, you know how I took the part of Carterius when I went unsolicited to our friend Araxius to plead for him. And in behalf of the property of that admirable woman Arete and the wrongs she had suffered from her neighbours, did I not journey to Phrygia for the second time within two months, though I was physically very weak from the illness that had been brought on by former fatigues? Finally, before I went to Greece, while I was still with the army and running what most people would call the greatest possible risks, recall now what sort of letters I wrote to you, never filled with complaints or containing anything little or mean or servile. And when I returned to Greece, when everyone regarded me as an exile, did I not welcome my fate as though it were some high festival, and did I not say that the exchange to me was most delightful, and that, as the saying is, I had thereby gained "gold for bronze, the price of a hundred oxen for the price of nine"? So great was my joy at obtaining the chance to live in Greece instead of in my own home, though I possessed there no land or garden or the humblest house.

But perhaps you think that though I can bear adversity in the proper spirit, yet I show a poor and mean spirit towards the good gifts of Fortune, seeing that I prefer Athens to the pomp that now surrounds me; because, you will doubtless say, I approve the leisure of those days and disparage my present life because of the vast amount of work that the latter involves. But perhaps you ought to judge of me more accurately, and not consider the question whether I am idle or industrious, but rather the precept, "Know thyself," and the saying, "Let every man practise the craft which he knows."

To me, at any rate, it seems that the task of reigning is beyond human powers, and that a king needs a more divine character, as indeed Plato too used to say. And now I will write out a passage from Aristotle to the same effect, not "bringing owls to the Athenians," but in order to show you that I do not entirely neglect his writings. In his political treatises he says: "Now even if one maintain the principle that it is best for cities to be governed by a king, how will it be about his children? Ought his children to succeed him? And yet if they prove to be no better than anybody else, that would be a bad thing for the city. But you may say, though he has the power he will not leave the succession to his children? It is difficult indeed to believe that he will not; for that would be too hard for him, and demands a virtue greater than belongs to human nature." And later on, when he is describing a so-called king who rules according to law, and says that he is both the servant and guardian of the laws, he does not call him a king at all, nor does he consider such a king as a distinct form of government; and he goes on to say: "Now as for what is called absolute monarchy, that is to say, when a king governs all other men according to his own will, some people think that it is not in accordance with the nature of things for one man to have absolute authority over all the citizens; since those who are by nature equal must necessarily have the same rights." Again, a little later he says: "It seems, therefore, that he who bids Reason rule is really preferring the rule of God and the laws, but he who bids man, rule, adds an element of the beast. For desire is a wild beast, and passion which warps even the best men. It follows, therefore, that law is Reason exempt from desire." You see the philosopher seems here clearly to distrust and condemn human nature. For he says so in so many words when he asserts that human nature is in no case worthy of such an excess of fortune. For he thinks that it is too hard for one who is merely human to prefer the general weal of the citizens to his own children; he says that it is not just that one man should rule over many who are his equals; and, finally, he puts the finishing stroke to what he has just said when he asserts that "law is Reason exempt from desire," and that political affairs ought to be entrusted to Reason alone, and not to any individual man whatever. For the reason that is in men, however good they may be, is entangled with passion and desire, those most ferocious monsters. These opinions, it seems to me, harmonise perfectly with Plato's; first, that he who governs ought to be superior to his subjects and surpass them not only in his acquired habits but also in natural endowment; a thing which is not easy to find among men; . . . thirdly, that he ought by every means in his power to observe the laws, not those that were framed to meet some sudden emergency, or established, as now appears, by men whose lives were not wholly guided by reason; but he must observe them only in case the lawgiver, having purified his mind and soul, in enacting those laws keeps in view not merely the crimes of the moment or immediate contingencies; but rather recognises the nature of government and the essential nature of justice, and has carefully observed also the essential nature of guilt., and then applies to his task all the knowledge thus derived,, and frames laws which have a general application to all the citizens without regard to friend or foe, neighbour or kinsman. And it is better that such a lawgiver should frame and promulgate his laws not for his contemporaries only but for posterity also, or for strangers with whom he neither has nor expects to have any private dealings. For instance, I hear that the wise Solon, having consulted his friends about the cancelling of debts, furnished them with an opportunity to make money, but brought on himself a disgraceful accusation. So hard is it to avoid such fatalities, even when a man brings a passionless mind to the task of governing.

And since this sort of thing is what I dread, it is natural that I should often dwell on the advantages of my previous mode of life, and I am but obeying you when I reflect that you said not only that I must emulate those famous men Solon, Lycurgus and Pittacus, but also that I must now quit the shades of philosophy for the open air. This is as though you had announced to a man who for his health's sake and by exerting himself to the utmost was able to take moderate exercise at home: "Now you have come to Olympia and have exchanged the gymnasium in your house for the stadium of Zeus, where you will have for spectators Greeks who have come from all parts, and foremost among them your own fellow-citizens, on whose behalf you must enter the lists; and certain barbarians will be there also whom it is your duty to impress, showing them your fatherland in as formidable a light as lies in your power." You would have disconcerted him at once and made him nervous before the games began. You may now suppose that I have been affected in the same manner by just such words from you. And you will very soon inform me whether my present view is correct, or whether I am in part deceived as to my proper course or whether indeed I am wholly mistaken.

But I should like to make clear to you the points in your letter by which I am puzzled, my dearest friend to whom I especially am bound to pay every honour: for I am eager to be more precisely informed about them. You said that you approve a life of action rather than the philosophic life, and you called to witness the wise Aristotle who defines happiness as virtuous activity, and discussing the difference between the statesman's life and the life of contemplation, showed a certain hesitation about those lives, and though in others of his writings he preferred the contemplative life, in this place you say he approves the architects of noble actions. But it is you who assert that these are kings, whereas Aristotle does not speak in the sense of the words that you have introduced: and from what you have quoted one would rather infer the contrary. For when he says: "We most correctly use the word 'act' of those who are the architects of public affairs by virtue of their intelligence," we must suppose that what he says applies to lawgivers and political philosophers and all whose activity consists in the use of intelligence and reason, but that it does not apply to those who do the work themselves and those who transact the business of politics. But in their case it is not enough that they should consider and devise and instruct others as to what must be done, but it is their duty to undertake and execute whatever the laws ordain and circumstances as well often force on them; unless indeed we call that man an architect who is "well versed in mighty deeds," a phrase which Homer in his poems usually applies to Heracles, who was indeed of all men that ever lived most given to do the work himself.

But if we conceive this to be true, or that only those are happy who administer public affairs and who are in authority and rule over many, what then are we to say about Socrates? As for Pythagoras and Democritus and Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, you will perhaps say that they were happy in another sense of the word, because of their philosophic speculations. But as for Socrates who, having rejected the speculative life and embraced a life of action, had no authority over his own wife or his son, can we say of him that he governed even two or three of his fellow-citizens? Then will you assert that since he had no authority over any one he accomplished nothing? On the contrary I maintain that the son of Sophroniscus performed greater tasks than Alexander, for to him I ascribe the wisdom of Plato, the generalship of Xenophon, the fortitude of Antisthenes, the Eretrian and Megarian philosophies, Cebes, Simmias, Phaedo and a host of others; not to mention the offshoots derived from the same source, the Lyceum, the Stoa and the Academies. Who, I ask, ever found salvation through the conquests of Alexander? What city was ever more wisely governed because of them, what individual improved? Many indeed you might find whom those conquests enriched, but not one whom they made wiser or more temperate than he was by nature, if indeed they have not made him more insolent and arrogant. Whereas all who now find their salvation in philosophy owe it to Socrates. And I am not the only person to perceive this fact and to express it, for Aristotle it seems did so before me, when he said that he had just as much right to be proud of his treatise on the gods as the conqueror of the Persian empire. And I think he was perfectly correct in that conclusion. For military success is due to courage and good fortune more than anything else or, let us say, if you wish, to intelligence as well, though of the common everyday sort. But to conceive true opinions about God is an achievement that not only requires perfect virtue, but one might well hesitate whether it be proper to call one who attains to this a man or a god. For if the saying is true that it is the nature of everything to become known to those who have an affinity with it, then he who comes to know the essential nature of God would naturally be considered divine.

But since I seem to have harked back to the life of contemplation and to be comparing it with the life of action, though in the beginning of your letter you declined to make the comparison, I will remind you of those very philosophers whom you mentioned, Areius, Nicolaus, Thrasyllus, and Musonius. So far from any one of these governing his own city, Areius we are told refused the governorship of Egypt when it was offered to him, and Thrasyllus by becoming intimate with the harsh and naturally cruel tyrant Tiberius would have incurred indelible disgrace for all time, had he not cleared himself in the writings that he left behind him and so shown his true character; so little did his public career benefit him. Nicolaus did not personally do any great deeds, and he is known rather by his writings about such deeds; while Musonius became famous because he bore his sufferings with courage, and, by Zeus, sustained with firmness the cruelty of tyrants; and perhaps he was not less happy than those who administered great kingdoms. As for Areius, when he declined the governorship of Egypt he deliberately deprived himself of the highest end, if he really thought that this was the most important thing. And you yourself, may I ask, do you lead an inactive life because you are not a general or a public speaker and govern no nation or city? Nay, no one with any sense would say so. For it is in your power by producing many philosophers, or even only three or four, to confer more benefit on the lives of men than many kings put together. To no trivial province is the philosopher appointed, and, as you said yourself, he does not only direct counsels or public affairs, nor is his activity confined to mere words; but if he confirm his words by deeds and show himself to be such as he wishes others to be, he may be more convincing and more effective in making men act than those who urge them to noble actions by issuing commands.

But I must go back to what I said at the beginning, and conclude this letter, which is perhaps longer already than it should be. And the main point in it is that it is not because I would avoid hard work or pursue pleasure, nor because I am in love with idleness and ease that I am averse to spending my life in administration. But, as I said when I began, it is because I am conscious that I have neither sufficient training nor natural talents above the ordinary; moreover, I am afraid of bringing reproach on philosophy, which, much as I love it, I have never attained to, and which on other accounts has no very good reputation among men of our day. For these reasons I wrote all this down some time ago, and now I have freed myself from your charges as far as I can.

May God grant me the happiest fortune possible, and wisdom to match my fortune! For now I think I need assistance from God above all, and also from you philosophers by all means in your power, since I have proved myself your leader and champion in danger. But should it be that blessings greater than of my furnishing and than the opinion that I now have of myself should be granted to men by God through my instrumentality, you must not resent my words. For being conscious of no good thing in me, save this only, that I do not even think that I possess the highest talent, and indeed have naturally none, I cry aloud and testify that you must not expect great things of me, but must entrust everything to God. For thus I shall be free from responsibility for my shortcomings, and if everything turns out favourably I shall be discreet and moderate, not putting my name to the deeds of other men, but by giving God the glory for all, as is right, it is to Him that I shall myself feel gratitude and I urge all of you to feel the same.

3 To the senate and people of Athens
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Many were the achievements of your forefathers of which you are still justly proud, even as they were of old; many were the trophies for victories raised by them, now for all Greece in common, now separately for Athens herself, in those days when she contended single-handed against all the rest of Greece as well as against the barbarian: but there was no achievement and no display of courage on your part so prodigious that other cities cannot in their turn rival it. For they too wrought some such deeds in alliance with you, and some on their own account. And that I may not by recalling these and then balancing them be thought either to pay more honour to one state than to another in the matters in which they are your rivals, or to praise less than they deserve those who proved inferior, in order to gain an advantage, after the manner of rhetoricians, I desire to bring forward on your behalf only this fact to which I can discover nothing that can be set against it on the part of the other Greek states, and which has been assigned to you by ancient tradition. When the Lacedaemonians were in power you took that power away from them not by violence but by your reputation for justice; and it was your laws that nurtured Aristides the Just. Moreover, brilliant as were these proofs of your virtue, you confirmed them by still more brilliant actions. For to be reputed just might perhaps happen to any individual even though it were not true; and perhaps it would not be surprising that among many worthless citizens there should be found one virtuous man. For even among the Medes is not a certain Deioces celebrated, and Abaris too among the Hyperboreans, and Anacharsis among the Scythians? And in their case the surprising thing was that, born as they were among nations who knew nothing of justice, they nevertheless prized justice, two of them sincerely, though the third only pretended to do so out of self-interest. But it would be hard to find a whole people and city enamoured of just deeds and just words except your own. And I wish to remind you of one out of very many such deeds done in your city. After the Persian war Themistocles was planning to introduce a resolution to set fire secretly to the naval arsenals of the Greeks, and then did not dare to propose it to the assembly; but he agreed to confide the secret to any one man whom the people should elect by vote; and the people chose Aristides to represent them. But he when he heard the scheme did not reveal what he had been told, but reported to the people that there could be nothing more profitable or more dishonest than that advice. Whereupon the city at once voted against it and rejected it, very nobly, by Zeus, and as it behoved men to do who are nurtured under the eyes of the most wise goddess.

Then if this was your conduct of old, and from that day to this there is kept alive some small spark as it were of the virtue of your ancestors, it is natural that you should pay attention not to the magnitude merely of any performance, nor whether a man has travelled over the earth with incredible speed and unwearied energy as though he had flown through the air; but that you should rather consider whether one has accomplished this feat by just means, and then if he seems to act with justice, you will perhaps all praise him both in public and private; but if he have slighted justice he will naturally be scorned by you. For there is nothing so closely akin to wisdom as justice. Therefore those who slight her you will justly expel as showing impiety towards the goddess who dwells among you. For this reason I wish to report my conduct to you, though indeed you know it well, in order that if there is anything you do not know — and it is likely that some things you do not, and those in fact which it is most important for all men to be aware of — it may become known to you and through you to the rest of the Greeks. Therefore let no one think that I am trifling and wasting words if I try to give some account of things that have happened as it were before the eyes of all men, not only long ago but also just lately. For I wish none to be ignorant of anything that concerns me, and naturally everyone cannot know every circumstance. First I will begin with my ancestors.

That on the father's side I am descended from the same stock as Constantius on his father's side is well known. Our fathers were brothers, sons of the same father. And close kinsmen as we were, how this most humane Emperor treated us! Six of my cousins and his, and my father who was his own uncle and also another uncle of both of us on the father's side, and my eldest brother, he put to death without a trial; and as for me and my other brother, he intended to put us to death but finally inflicted exile upon us; and from that exile he released me, but him he stripped of the title of Caesar just before he murdered him. But why should I "recount," as though from some tragedy, "all these unspeakable horrors?" For he has repented, I am told, and is stung by remorse; and he thinks that his unhappy state of childlessness is due to those deeds, and his ill success in the Persian war he also ascribes to that cause. This at least was the gossip of the court at the time and of those who were about the person of my brother Gallus of blessed memory, who is now for the first time so styled. For after putting him to death in defiance of the laws he neither suffered him to share the tombs of his ancestors nor granted him a pious memory.

As I said, they kept telling us and tried to convince us that Constantius had acted thus, partly because he was deceived, and partly because he yielded to the violence and tumult of an undisciplined and mutinous army. This was the strain they kept up to soothe us when we had been imprisoned in a certain farm in Cappadocia; and they allowed no one to come near us after they had summoned him from exile in Tralles and had dragged me from the schools, though I was still a mere boy. How shall I describe the six years we spent there? For we lived as though on the estate of a stranger, and were watched as though we were in some Persian garrison, since no stranger came to see us and not one of our old friends was allowed to visit us; so that we lived shut off from every liberal study and from all free intercourse, in a glittering servitude, and sharing the exercises of our own slaves as though they were comrades. For no companion of our own age ever came near us or was allowed to do so.

From that place barely and by the help of the gods I was set free, and for a happier fate; but my brother was imprisoned at court and his fate was ill-starred above all men who have ever yet lived. And indeed whatever cruelty or harshness was revealed in his disposition was increased by his having been brought up among those mountains. It is therefore I think only just that the Emperor should bear the blame for this also, he who against our will allotted to us that sort of bringing-up. As for me, the gods by means of philosophy caused me to remain untouched by it and unharmed; but on my brother no one bestowed this boon. For when he had come straight from the country to the court, the moment that Constantius had invested him with the purple robe he at once began to be jealous of him, nor did he cease from that feeling until, not content with stripping him of the purple, he had destroyed him. Yet surely he deserved to live, even if he seemed unfit to govern. But someone may say that it was necessary to deprive him of life also. I admit it, only on condition that he had first been allowed to speak in his own defence as criminals are. For surely it is not the case that the law forbids one who has imprisoned bandits to put them to death, but says that it is right to destroy without a trial those who have been stripped of the honours that they possessed and have become mere individuals instead of rulers. For what if my brother had been able to expose those who were responsible for his errors? For there had been handed to him the letters of certain persons, and, by Heracles, what accusations against himself they contained! And in his resentment at these he gave way in most unkingly fashion to uncontrolled anger, but he had done nothing to deserve being deprived of life itself. What! Is not this a universal law among all Greeks and barbarians alike, that one should defend oneself against those who take the initiative in doing one a wrong? I admit that he did perhaps defend himself with too great cruelty; but on the whole not more cruelly than might have been expected. For we have heard it said before that an enemy may be expected to harm one in a fit of anger. But it was to gratify a eunuch, his chamberlain who was also his chief cook, that Constantius gave over to his most inveterate enemies his own cousin, the Caesar, his sister's husband, the father of his niece, the man whose own sister he had himself married in earlier days, and to whom he owed so many obligations connected with the gods of the family. As for me he reluctantly let me go, after dragging me hither and thither for seven whole months and keeping me under guard; so that had not some one of the gods desired that I should escape, and made the beautiful and virtuous Eusebia kindly disposed to me, I could not then have escaped from his hands myself. And yet I call the gods to witness that my brother had pursued his course of action without my having a sight of him even in a dream. For I was not with him, nor did I visit him or travel to his neighbourhood; and I used to write to him very seldom and on unimportant matters. Thinking therefore that I had escaped from that place, I set out for the house that had been my mother's. For of my father's estate nothing belonged to me, and I had acquired out of the great wealth that had naturally belonged to my father not the smallest clod of earth, not a slave, not a house. For the admirable Constantius had inherited in my place the whole of my father's property, and to me, as I was saying, he granted not the least trifle of it; moreover, though he gave my brother a few things that had been his father's, he robbed him of the whole of his mother's estate.

Now his whole behaviour to me before he granted me that august title — though in fact what he did was to impose on me the most galling and irksome slavery — you have heard, if not every detail, still the greater part. As I was saying, I was on my way to my home and was barely getting away safely, beyond my hopes, when a certain sycophant turned up near Sirmium and fabricated the rumour against certain persons there that they were planning a revolt. You certainly know by hearsay Africanus and Marinus: nor can you fail to have heard of Felix and what was the fate of those men. And when Constantius was informed of the matter, and Dynamius another sycophant suddenly reported from Gaul that Silvanus was on the point of declaring himself his open enemy, in the utmost alarm and terror he forthwith sent to me, and first he bade me retire for a short time to Greece, then summoned me from there to the court again. He had never seen me before except once in Cappadocia and once in Italy, — an interview which Eusebia had secured by her exertions so that I might feel confidence about my personal safety. And yet I lived for six months in the same city as he did, and he had promised that he would see me again. But that execrable eunuch, his trusty chamberlain, unconsciously and involuntarily proved himself my benefactor. For he did not allow me to meet the Emperor often, nor perhaps did the latter desire it; still the eunuch was the chief reason. For what he dreaded was that if we had any intercourse with one another I might be taken into favour, and when my loyalty became evident I might be given some place of trust.

Now from the first moment of my arrival from Greece, Eusebia of blessed memory kept showing me the utmost kindness through the eunuchs of her household. And a little later when the Emperor returned — for the affair of Silvanus had been concluded — at last I was given access to the court, and, in the words of the proverb, Thessalian persuasion was applied to me. For when I firmly declined all intercourse with the palace, some of them, as though they had come together in a barber's shop, cut off my beard and dressed me in a military cloak and transformed me into a highly ridiculous soldier, as they thought at the time. For none of the decorations of those villains suited me. And I walked not like them, staring about me and strutting along, but gazing on the ground as I had been trained to do by the preceptor who brought me up. At the time, then, I inspired their ridicule, but a little later their suspicion, and then their jealousy was inflamed to the utmost.

But this I must not omit to tell here, how I submitted and how I consented to dwell under the same roof with those whom I knew to have ruined my whole family, and who, I suspected, would before long plot against myself also. But what floods of tears I shed and what laments I uttered when I was summoned, stretching out my hands to your Acropolis and imploring Athene to save her suppliant and not to abandon me, many of you who were eyewitnesses can attest, and the goddess herself, above all others, is my witness that I even begged for death at her hands there in Athens rather than my journey to the Emperor. That the goddess accordingly did not betray her suppliant or abandon him she proved by the event. For everywhere she was my guide, and on all sides she set a watch near me, bringing guardian angels from Helios and Selene.

What happened was somewhat as follows. When I came to Milan I resided in one of the suburbs. Thither Eusebia sent me on several occasions messages of good-will, and urged me to write to her without hesitation about anything that I desired. Accordingly I wrote her a letter, or rather a petition containing vows like these: "May you have children to succeed you; may God grant you this and that, if only you send me home as quickly as possible!" But I suspected that it was not safe to send to the palace letters addressed to the Emperor's wife. Therefore I besought the gods to inform me at night whether I ought to send the letter to the Empress. And they warned me that if I sent it I should meet the most ignominious death. I call all the gods to witness that what I write here is true. For this reason, therefore, I forbore to send the letter. But from that night there kept occurring to me an argument which it is perhaps worth your while also to hear. "Now," I said to myself, "I am planning to oppose the gods, and I have imagined that I can devise wiser schemes for myself than those who know all things. And yet human wisdom, which looks only to the present moment, may be thankful if, with all its efforts, it succeed in avoiding mistakes even for a short space. That is why no man takes thought for things that are to happen thirty years hence, or for things that are already past, for the one is superfluous, the other impossible, but only for what lies near at hand and has already some beginnings and germs. But the wisdom of the gods sees very far, or rather, sees the whole, and therefore it directs aright and brings to pass what is best. For they are the causes of all that now is, and so likewise of all that is to be. Wherefore it is reasonable that they should have knowledge about the present." So far, then, it seemed to me that on this reasoning my second determination was wiser than my first. And viewing the matter in the light of justice, I immediately reflected: "Would you not be provoked if one of your own beasts were to deprive you of its services, or were even to run away when you called it, a horse, or sheep, or calf, as the case might be? And will you, who pretended to be a man, and not even a man of the common herd or from the dregs of the people, but one belonging to the superior and reasonable class, deprive the gods of your service, and not trust yourself to them to dispose of you as they please? Beware lest you not only fall into great folly, but also neglect your proper duties towards the gods. Where is your courage, and of what sort is it? A sorry thing it seems. At any rate, you are ready to cringe and flatter from fear of death, and yet it is in your power to lay all that aside and leave it to the gods to work their will, dividing with them the care of yourself, as Socrates, for instance, chose to do: and you might, while doing such things as best you can, commit the whole to their charge; seek to possess nothing, seize nothing, but accept simply what is vouchsafed to you by them." And this course I thought was not only safe but becoming to a reasonable man, since the response of the gods had suggested it. For to rush headlong into unseemly and foreseen danger while trying to avoid future plots seemed to me a topsy-turvy procedure. Accordingly I consented to yield. And immediately I was invested with the title and robe of Caesar. The slavery that ensued and the fear for my very life that hung over me every day, Heracles, how great it was, and how terrible! My doors locked, warders to guard them, the hands of my servants searched lest one of them should convey to me the most trifling letter from my friends, strange servants to wait on me! Only with difficulty was I able to bring with me to court four of my own domestics for my personal service, two of them mere boys and two older men, of whom only one knew of my attitude to the gods, and, as far as he was able, secretly joined me in their worship. I had entrusted with the care of my books, since he was the only one with me of many loyal comrades and friends, a certain physician who had been allowed to leave home with me because it was not known that he was my friend. And this state of things caused me such alarm and I was so apprehensive about it, that though many of my friends really wished to visit me, I very reluctantly refused them admittance; for though I was most anxious to see them, I shrank from bringing disaster upon them and myself at the same time. But this is somewhat foreign to my narrative. The following relates to the actual course of events.

Constantius gave me three hundred and sixty soldiers, and in the middle of the winter despatched me into Gaul, which was then in a state of great disorder; and I was sent not as commander of the garrisons there but rather as a subordinate of the generals there stationed. For letters had been sent them and express orders given that they were to watch me as vigilantly as they did the enemy, for fear I should attempt to cause a revolt. And when all this had happened in the manner I have described, about the summer solstice he allowed me to join the army and to carry about with me his dress and image. And indeed he had both said and written that he was not giving the Gauls a king but one who should convey to them his image.

Now when, as you have heard, the first campaign was ended that year and great advantage gained, I returned to winter quarters, and there I was exposed to the utmost danger. For I was not even allowed to assemble the troops; this power was entrusted to another, while I was quartered apart with only a few soldiers, and then, since the neighbouring towns begged for my assistance, I assigned to them the greater part of the force that I had, and so I myself was left isolated. This then was the condition of affairs at that time. And when the commander-in-chief of the forces fell under the suspicions of Constantius and was deprived by him of his command and superseded, I in my turn was thought to be by no means capable or talented as a general, merely because I had shown myself mild and moderate. For I thought I ought not to fight against my yoke or interfere with the general in command except when in some very dangerous undertaking I saw either that something was being overlooked, or that something was being attempted that ought never to have been attempted at all. But after certain persons had treated me with disrespect on one or two occasions, I decided that for the future I ought to show my own self-respect by keeping silence, and henceforth I contented myself with parading the imperial robe and the image. For I thought that to these at any rate I had been given a right.

After that, Constantius, thinking that there would be some improvement, but not that so great a transformation would take place in the affairs of Gaul, handed over to me in the beginning of spring the command of all the forces. And when the grain was ripe I took the field; for a great number of Germans had settled themselves with impunity near the towns they had sacked in Gaul. Now the number of the towns whose walls had been dismantled was about forty-five, without counting citadels and smaller forts. And the barbarians then controlled on our side of the Rhine the whole country that extends from its sources to the Ocean. Moreover those who were settled nearest to us were as much as three hundred stades from the banks of the Rhine, and a district three times as wide as that had been left a desert by their raids; so that the Gauls could not even pasture their cattle there. Then too there were certain cities deserted by their inhabitants, near which the barbarians were not yet encamped. This then was the condition of Gaul when I took it over. I recovered the city of Agrippina on the Rhine which had been taken about ten months earlier, and also the neighbouring fort of Argentoratum, near the foot-hills of the Vosges mountains, and there I engaged the enemy not ingloriously. It may be that the fame of that battle has reached even your ears. There though the gods gave into my hands as prisoner of war the king of the enemy, I did not begrudge Constantius the glory of that success. And yet though I was not allowed to triumph for it, I had it in my power to slay my enemy, and moreover I could have led him through the whole of Gaul and exhibited him to the cities, and thus have luxuriated as it were in the misfortunes of Chnodomar. I thought it my duty to do none of these things, but sent him at once to Constantius who was returning from the country of the Quadi and the Sarmatians. So it came about that, though I had done all the fighting and he had only travelled in those parts and held friendly intercourse with the tribes who dwell on the borders of the Danube, it was not I but he who triumphed.

Then followed the second and third years of that campaign, and by that time all the barbarians had been driven out of Gaul, most of the towns had been recovered, and a whole fleet of many ships had arrived from Britain. I had collected a fleet of six hundred ships, four hundred of which I had had built in less than ten months, and I brought them all into the Rhine, no slight achievement, on account of the neighbouring barbarians who kept attacking me. At least it seemed so impossible to Florentius that he had promised to pay the barbarians a fee of two thousand pounds weight of silver in return for a passage. Constantius when he learned this — for Florentius had informed him about the proposed payment — wrote to me to carry out the agreement, unless I thought it absolutely disgraceful. But how could it fail to be disgraceful when it seemed so even to Constantius, who was only too much in the habit of trying to conciliate the barbarians? However, no payment was made to them. Instead I marched against them, and since the gods protected me and were present to aid, I received the submission of part of the Salian tribe, and drove out the Chamavi and took many cattle and women and children. And I so terrified them all, and made them tremble at my approach that I immediately received hostages from them and secured a safe passage for my food supplies.

It would take too long to enumerate everything and to write down every detail of the task that I accomplished within four years. But to sum it all up: Three times, while I was still Caesar, I crossed the Rhine; twenty thousand persons who were held as captives on the further side of the Rhine I demanded and received back; in two battles and one siege I took captive ten thousand prisoners, and those not of unserviceable age but men in the prime of life; I sent to Constantius four levies of excellent infantry, three more of infantry not so good, and two very distinguished squadrons of cavalry. I have now with the help of the gods recovered all the towns, and by that time I had already recovered almost forty. I call Zeus and all the gods who protect cities and our race, to bear witness as to my behaviour towards Constantius and my loyalty to him, and that I behaved to him as I would have chosen that my own son should behave to me. I have paid him more honour than any Caesar has paid to any Emperor in the past. Indeed, to this very day he has no accusation to bring against me on that score, though I have been entirely frank in my dealings with him, but he invents absurd pretexts for his resentment. He says, "You have detained Lupicinus and three other men." And supposing I had even put them to death after they had openly plotted against me, he ought for the sake of keeping peace to have renounced his resentment at their fate. But I did those men not the least injury, and I detained them because they are by nature quarrelsome and mischief-makers. And though I am spending large sums of the public money on them, I have robbed them of none of their property. Observe how Constantius really lays down the law that I ought to proceed to extremities with such men! For by his anger on behalf of men who are not related to him at all, does he not rebuke and ridicule me for my folly in having served so faithfully the murderer of my father, my brothers, my cousins; the executioner as it were of his and my whole family and kindred? Consider too with what deference I have continued to treat him even since I became Emperor, as is shown in my letters.

And how I behaved to him before that you shall now learn. Since I was well aware that whenever mistakes were made I alone should incur the disgrace and danger, though most of the work was carried on by others, I first of all implored him, if he had made up his mind to that course and was altogether determined to proclaim me Caesar, to give me good and able men to assist me He however at first gave me the vilest wretches. And when one, the most worthless of them, had very gladly accepted and no one of the others consented, he gave me with a bad grace an officer who was indeed excellent, Sallust, who on account of his virtue has at once fallen under his suspicion. And since I was not satisfied with such an arrangement and saw how his manner to them varied, for I observed that he trusted one of them too much and paid no attention at all to the other, I clasped his right hand and his knees and said: "I have no acquaintance with any of these men nor have had in the past. But I know them by report, and since you bid me I regard them as my comrades and friends and pay them as much respect as I would to old acquaintances. Nevertheless it is not just that my affair's should be entrusted to them or that their fortunes should be hazarded with mine. What then is my petition? Give me some sort of written rules as to what I must avoid and what you entrust to me to perform. For it is clear that you will approve of him who obeys you and punish him who is disobedient, though indeed I am very sure that no one will disobey you."

Now I need not mention the innovations that Pentadius at once tried to introduce. But I kept opposing him in everything and for that reason he became my enemy. Then Constantius chose another and a second and a third and fashioned them for his purpose, I mean Paul and Gaudentius, those notorious sycophants; he hired them to attack me and then took measures to remove Sallust, because he was my friend, and to appoint Lucilianus immediately, as his successor. And a little later Florentius also became my enemy on account of his avarice which I used to oppose. These men persuaded Constantius, who was perhaps already somewhat irritated by jealousy of my successes, to remove me altogether from command of the troops. And he wrote letters full of insults directed against me and threatening ruin to the Gauls. For he gave orders for the withdrawal from Gaul of, I might almost say, the whole of the most efficient troops without exception, and assigned this commission to Lupicinus and Gintonius, while to me he wrote that I must oppose them in nothing.

And now in what terms shall I describe to you the work of the gods? It was my intention, as they will bear me witness, to divest myself of all imperial splendour and state and remain in peace, taking no part whatever in affairs. But I waited for Florentius and Lupicinus to arrive; for the former was at Vienne, the latter in Britain. Meanwhile there was great excitement among the civilians and the troops, and someone wrote an anonymous letter to the town near where I was, addressed to the Petulantes and the Celts — those were the names of the legions — full of invectives against Constantius and of lamentations about his betrayal of the Gauls. Moreover the author of the letter lamented bitterly the disgrace inflicted on myself. This letter when it arrived provoked all those who were most definitely on the side of Constantius to urge me in the strongest terms to send away the troops at once, before similar letters could be scattered broadcast among the rest of the legions. And indeed there was no one there belonging to the party supposed to be friendly to me, but only Nebridius, Pentadius, and Decentius, the latter of whom had been despatched for this very purpose by Constantius. And when I replied that we ought to wait still longer for Lupicinus and Florentius, no one listened to me, but they all declared that we ought to do the very opposite, unless I wished to add this further proof and evidence for the suspicions that were already entertained about me. And they added this argument: "If you send away the troops now it will be regarded as your measure, but when the others come Constantius will give them not you the credit and you will be held to blame." And so they persuaded or rather compelled me to write to him. For he alone may be said to be persuaded who has the power to refuse, but those who can use force have no need to persuade as well; then again where force is used there is no persuasion, but a man is the victim of necessity. Thereupon we discussed by which road, since there were two, the troops had better march. I preferred that they should take one of these, but they immediately compelled them to take the other, for fear that the other route if chosen should give rise to mutiny among the troops and cause some disturbance, and that then, when they had once begun to mutiny, they might throw all into confusion. Indeed such apprehension on their part seemed not altogether without grounds.

The legions arrived, and I, as was customary, went to meet them and exhorted them to continue their march. For one day they halted, and till that time I knew nothing whatever of what they had determined; I call to witness Zeus, Helios, Ares, Athene, and all the other gods that no such suspicion even entered my mind until that very evening. It was already late, when about sunset the news was brought to me, and suddenly the palace was surrounded and they all began to shout aloud, while I was still considering what I ought to do and feeling by no means confident. My wife was still alive and it happened, that in order to rest alone, I had gone to the upper room near hers. Then from there through an opening in the wall I prayed to Zeus. And when the shouting grew still louder and all was in a tumult in the palace I entreated the god to give me a sign; and thereupon he showed me a sign and bade me yield and not oppose myself to the will of the army. Nevertheless even after these tokens had been vouchsafed to me I did not yield without reluctance, but resisted as long as I could, and would not accept either the salutation or the diadem. But since I could not singlehanded control so many, and moreover the gods, who willed that this should happen, spurred on the soldiers and gradually softened my resolution, somewhere about the third hour some soldier or other gave me the collar and I put it on my head and returned to the palace, as the gods know groaning in my heart. And yet surely it was my duty to feel confidence and to trust in the god after he had shown me the sign; but I was terribly ashamed and ready to sink into the earth at the thought of not seeming to obey Constantius faithfully to the last.

Now since there was the greatest consternation in the palace, the friends of Constantius thought they would seize the occasion to contrive a plot against me without delay, and they distributed money to the soldiers, expecting one of two things, either that they would cause dissension between me and the troops, or no doubt that the latter would attack me openly. But when a certain officer belonging to those who commanded my wife's escort perceived that this was being secretly contrived, he first reported it to me and then, when he saw that I paid no attention to him, he became frantic, and like one possessed he began to cry aloud before the people in the market-place, "Fellow soldiers, strangers, and citizens, do not abandon the Emperor!" Then the soldiers were inspired by a frenzy of rage and they all rushed to the palace under arms. And when they found me alive, in their delight, like men who meet friends whom they had not hoped to see again, they pressed round me on this side and on that, and embraced me and carried me on their shoulders. And it was a sight worth seeing, for they were like men seized with a divine frenzy. Then after they had surrounded me on all sides they demanded that I give up to them for punishment the friends of Constantius. What fierce opposition I had to fight down in my desire to save those persons is known to all the gods.

But further, how did I behave to Constantius after this? Even to this day I have not yet used in my letters to him the title which was bestowed on me by the gods, but I have always signed myself Caesar, and I have persuaded the soldiers to demand nothing more if only he would allow us to dwell peaceably in Gaul and would ratify what has been already done. All the legions with me sent letters to him praying that there might be harmony between us. But instead of this he let loose against us the barbarians, and among them proclaimed me his foe and paid them bribes so that the people of the Gauls might be laid waste; moreover he wrote to the forces in Italy and bade them be on their guard against any who should come from Gaul; and on the frontiers of Gaul in the cities near by he ordered to be got ready three million bushels of wheat which had been ground at Brigantia, and the same amount near the Cottian Alps, with the intention of marching to oppose me. These are not mere words but deeds that speak plain. In fact the letters that he wrote I obtained from the barbarians who brought them to me; and I seized the provisions that had been made ready, and the letters of Taurus. Besides, even now in his letters he addresses me as "Caesar" and declares that he will never make terms with me: but he sent one Epictetus, a bishop of Gaul, to offer a guarantee for my personal safety; and throughout his letters he keeps repeating that he will not take my life, but about my honour he says not a word. As for his oaths, for my part I think they should, as the proverb says, be written in ashes, so little do they inspire belief. But my honour I will not give up, partly out of regard for what is seemly and fitting, but also to secure the safety of my friends. And I have not yet described the cruelty that he is practising over the whole earth.

These then were the events that persuaded me; this was the conduct I thought just. And first I imparted it to the gods who see and hear all things. Then when I had offered sacrifices for my departure, the omens were favourable on that very day on which I was about to announce to the troops that they were to march to this place; and since it was not only on behalf of my own safety but far more for the sake of the general welfare and the freedom of all men and in particular of the people of Gaul, — for twice already he had betrayed them to the enemy and had not even spared the tombs of their ancestors, he who is so anxious to conciliate strangers! — then, I say, I thought that I ought to add to my forces certain very powerful tribes and to obtain supplies of money, which I had a perfect right to coin, both gold and silver. Moreover if even now he would welcome a reconciliation with me I would keep to what I at present possess; but if he should decide to go to war and will in no wise relent from his earlier purpose, then I ought to do and to suffer whatever is the will of the gods; seeing that it would be more disgraceful to show myself his inferior through failure of courage or lack of intelligence than in mere numbers. For if he now defeats me by force of numbers that will not be his doing, but will be due to the larger army that he has at his command. If on the other hand he had surprised me loitering in Gaul and clinging to bare life and, while I tried to avoid the danger, had attacked me on all sides, in the rear and on the flanks by means of the barbarians, and in front by his own legions, I should I believe have had to face complete ruin, and moreover the disgrace of such conduct is greater than any punishment — at least in the sight of the wise.

These then are the views, men of Athens, which I have communicated to my fellow soldiers and which I am now writing to the whole body of the citizens throughout all Greece. May the gods who decide all things vouchsafe me to the end the assistance which they have promised, and may they grant to Athens all possible favours at my hands! May she always have such Emperors as will honour her and love her above and beyond all other cities!

4 Fragment of a letter to a priest
4 - 1

. . . . . Only that they chastise, then and there, any whom they see rebelling against their king. And the tribe of evil demons is appointed to punish those who do not worship the gods, and stung to madness by them many atheists are induced to court death in the belief that they will fly up to heaven when they have brought their lives to a violent end. Some men there are also who, though man is naturally a social and civilised being, seek out desert places instead of cities, since they have been given over to evil demons and are led by them into this hatred of their kind. And many of them have even devised fetters and stocks to wear; to such a degree does the evil demon to whom they have of their own accord given themselves abet them in all ways, after they have rebelled against the everlasting and saving gods. But on this subject what I have said is enough, and I will go back to the point at which I digressed.

Though just conduct in accordance with the laws of the state will evidently be the concern of the governors of cities, you in your turn will properly take care to exhort men not to transgress the laws of the gods, since those are sacred. Moreover, inasmuch as the life of a priest ought to be more holy than the political life, you must guide and instruct men to adopt it. And the better sort will naturally follow your guidance. Nay I pray that all men may, but at any rate I hope that those who are naturally good and upright will do so; for they will recognise that your teachings are peculiarly adapted to them.

You must above all exercise philanthropy, for from it result many other blessings, and moreover that choicest and greatest blessing of all, the good will of the gods. For just as those who are in agreement with their masters about their friendships and ambitions and loves are more kindly treated than their fellow slaves, so we must suppose that God, who naturally loves human beings, has more kindness for those men who love their fellows. Now philanthropy has many divisions and is of many kinds. For instance it is shown when men are punished in moderation with a view to the betterment of those punished, as schoolmasters punish children; and again in ministering to men's needs, even as the gods minister to our own. You see all the blessings of the earth that they have granted to us, food of all sorts, and in an abundance that they have not granted to all other creatures put together. And since we were born naked they covered us with the hair of animals, and with things that grow in the ground and on trees. Nor were they content to do this simply or off-hand, as Moses bade men take coats of skins, but you see how numerous are the gifts of Athene the Craftswoman. What other animals use wine, or olive oil? Except indeed in cases where we let them share in these things, even though we do not share them with our fellowmen. What creature of the sea uses corn, what land animal uses things that grow in the sea? And I have not yet mentioned gold and bronze and iron, though in all these the gods have made us very rich; yet not to the end that we may bring reproach on them by disregarding the poor who go about in our midst, especially when they happen to be of good character — men for instance who have inherited no paternal estate, and are poor because in the greatness of their souls they have no desire for money. Now the crowd when they see such men blame the gods. However it is not the gods who are to blame for their poverty, but rather the insatiate greed of us men of property becomes the cause of this false conception of the gods among men, and besides of unjust blame of the gods. Of what use, I ask, is it for us to pray that God will rain gold on the poor as he did on the people of Rhodes? For even though this should come to pass, we should forthwith set our slaves underneath to catch it, and put out vessels everywhere, and drive off all comers so that we alone might seize upon the gifts of the gods meant for all in common. And anyone would naturally think it strange if we should ask for this, which is not in the nature of things, and is in every way unprofitable, while we do not do what is in our power. Who, I ask, ever became poor by giving to his neighbours? Indeed I myself, who have often given lavishly to those in need, have recovered my gifts again many times over at the hands of the gods, though I am a poor man of business; nor have I ever repented of that lavish giving. And of the present time I will say nothing, for it would be altogether irrational of me to compare the expenditure of private persons with that of an Emperor; but when I was myself still a private person I know that this happened to me many times. My grandmother's estate for instance was kept for me untouched, though others had taken possession of it by violence, because from the little that I had I spent money on those in need and gave them a share.

We ought then to share our money with all men, but more generously with the good, and with the helpless and poor so as to suffice for their need. And I will assert, even though it be paradoxical to say so, that it would be a pious act to share our clothes and food even with the wicked. For it is to the humanity in a man that we give, and not to his moral character. Hence I think that even those who are shut up in prison have a right to the same sort of care; since this kind of philanthropy will not hinder justice. For when many have been shut up in prison to await trial, of whom some will be found guilty, while others will prove to be innocent, it would be harsh indeed if out of regard for the guiltless we should not bestow some pity on the guilty also, or again, if on account of the guilty we should behave ruthlessly and inhumanly to those also who have done no wrong. This too, when I consider it, seems to me altogether wrong; I mean that we call Zeus by the title "God of Strangers," while we show ourselves more inhospitable to strangers than are the very Scythians. How, I ask, can one who wishes to sacrifice to Zeus, the God of Strangers, even approach his temple? With what conscience can he do so, when he has forgotten the saying "From Zeus come all beggars and strangers; and a gift is precious though small"?

Again, the man who worships Zeus the God of Comrades, and who, though he sees his neighbours in need of money, does not give them even so much as a drachma, how, I say, can he think that he is worshipping Zeus aright? When I observe this I am wholly amazed, since I see that these titles of the gods are from the beginning of the world their express images, yet in our practice we pay no attention to anything of the sort. The gods are called by us "gods of kindred," and Zeus the "God of Kindred," but we treat our kinsmen as though they were strangers. I say "kinsmen" because every man, whether he will or no, is akin to every other man, whether it be true, as some say, that we are all descended from one man and one woman, or whether it came about in some other way, and the gods created us all together, at the first when the world began, not one man and one woman only, but many men and many women at once. For they who had the power to create one man and one woman, were able to create many men and women at once; since the manner of creating one man and one woman is the same as that of creating many men and many women. And one must have regard to the differences in our habits and laws, or still more to that which is higher and more precious and more authoritative, I mean the sacred tradition of the gods which has been handed down to us by the theurgists of earlier days, namely that when Zeus was setting all things in order there fell from him drops of sacred blood, and from them, as they say, arose the race of men. It follows therefore that we are all kinsmen, whether, many men and women as we are, we come from two human beings, or whether, as the gods tell us, and as we ought to believe, since facts bear witness thereto, we are all descended from the gods. And that facts bear witness that many men came into the world at once, I shall maintain elsewhere, and precisely, but for the moment it will be enough to say this much, that if we were descended from one man and one woman, it is not likely that our laws would show such great divergence; nor in any case is it likely that the whole earth was filled with people by one man; nay, not even if the women used to bear many children at a time to their husbands, like swine. But when the gods all together had given birth to men, just as one man came forth, so in like manner came forth many men who had been allotted to the gods who rule over births; and they brought them forth, receiving their souls from the Demiurge from eternity.

It is proper also to bear in mind how many discourses have been devoted by men in the past to show that man is by nature a social animal. And shall we, after asserting this and enjoining it, bear ourselves unsociably to our neighbours? Then let everyone make the basis of his conduct moral virtues, and actions like these, namely reverence towards the gods, benevolence towards men, personal chastity; and thus let him abound in pious acts, I mean by endeavouring always to have pious thoughts about the gods, and by regarding the temples and images of the gods with due honour and veneration, and by worshipping the gods as though he saw them actually present. For our fathers established images and altars, and the maintenance of undying fire, and, generally speaking, everything of the sort, as symbols of the presence of the gods, not that we may regard such things as gods, but that we may worship the gods through them. For since being in the body it was in bodily wise that we must needs perform our service to the gods also, though they are themselves without bodies; they therefore revealed to us in the earliest images the class of gods next in rank to the first, even those that revolve in a circle about the whole heavens. But since not even to these can due worship be offered in bodily wise — for they are by nature not in need of anything — another class of images was invented on the earth, and by performing our worship to them we shall make the gods propitious to ourselves. For just as those who make offerings to the statues of the emperors, who are in need of nothing, nevertheless induce goodwill towards themselves thereby, so too those who make offerings to the images of the gods, though the gods need nothing, do nevertheless thereby persuade them to help and to care for them. For zeal to do all that is in one's power is, in truth, a proof of piety, and it is evident that he who abounds in such zeal thereby displays a higher degree of piety; whereas he who neglects what is possible, and then pretends to aim at what is impossible, evidently does not strive after the impossible, 2since he overlooks the possible. For even though God stands in need of nothing, it does not follow that on that account nothing ought to be offered to him. He does not need the reverence that is paid in words. What then? Is it rational to deprive him of this also? By no means. It follows then that one ought not to deprive him either of the honour that is paid to him through deeds, an honour which not three years or three thousand years have ordained, but all past time among all the nations of the earth.

Therefore, when we look at the images of the gods, let us not indeed think they are stones or wood, but neither let us think they are the gods themselves; and indeed we do not say that the statues of the emperors are mere wood and stone and bronze, but still less do we say they are the emperors themselves. He therefore who loves the emperor delights to see the emperor's statue, and he who loves his son delights to see his son's statue, and he who loves his father delights to see his father's statue. It follows that he who loves the gods delights to gaze on the images of the gods, and their likenesses, and he feels reverence and shudders with awe of the gods who look at him from the unseen world. Therefore if any man thinks that because they have once been called likenesses of the gods, they are incapable of being destroyed, he is, it seems to me, altogether foolish; for surely in that case they were incapable of being made by men's hands. 2But what has been made by a wise and good man can be destroyed by a bad and ignorant man. But those beings which were fashioned by the gods as the living images of their invisible nature, I mean the gods who revolve in a circle in the heavens, abide imperishable for all time. Therefore let no man disbelieve in gods because he sees and hears that certain persons have profaned their images and temples. Have they not in many cases put good men to death, like Socrates and Dio and the great Empedotimus? And yet I am very sure that the gods cared more for these men than for the temples. But observe that since they knew that the bodies even of these men were destructible, they allowed them to yield to nature and to submit, but later on they exacted punishment from their slayers; and this has happened in the sight of all, in our own day also, in the case of all who have profaned the temples.

Therefore let no man deceive us with his sayings or trouble our faith in a divine providence. For as for those who make such profanation a reproach against us, I mean the prophets of the Jews, what have they to say about their own temple, which was overthrown three times and even now is not being raised up again? This I mention not as a reproach against them, for I myself, after so great a lapse of time, intended to restore it, in honour of the god whose name has been associated with it. But in the present case I have used this instance because I wish to prove that nothing made by man can be indestructible, and that those prophets who wrote such statements were uttering nonsense, due to their gossipping with silly old women. In my opinion there is no reason why their god should not be a mighty god, even though he does not happen to have wise prophets or interpreters. But the real reason why they are not wise is that they have not submitted their souls to be cleansed by the regular course of study, nor have they allowed those studies to open their tightly closed eyes, 2and to clear away the mist that hangs over them. But since these men see as it were a great light through a fog, not plainly or clearly, and since they think that what they see is not a pure light but a fire, and they fail to discern all that surrounds it, they cry with a loud voice: "Tremble, be afraid, fire, flame, death, a dagger, a broad-sword!" thus describing under many names the harmful might of fire. But on this subject it will be better to demonstrate separately how much inferior to our own poets are these teachers of tales about the gods.

It is our duty to adore not only the images of the gods, but also their temples and sacred precincts and altars. And it is reasonable to honour the priests also as officials and servants of the gods; and because they minister to us what concerns the gods, and they lend strength to the gods' gift of good things to us; for they sacrifice and pray on behalf of all men. It it therefore right that we should pay them all not less, if not indeed more, than the honours that we pay to the magistrates of the state. And if any one thinks that we ought to assign equal honours to them and to the magistrates of the state, since the latter also are in some sort dedicated to the service of the gods, as being guardians of the laws, nevertheless we ought at any rate to give the priests a far greater share of our good will. The Achaeans, for instance, enjoined on their king to reverence the priest, though he was one of the enemy, whereas we do not even reverence the priests who are our friends, and who pray and sacrifice on our behalf.

But since my discourse has come back again to the beginning as I have so long wished, I think it is worth while for me to describe next in order what sort of man a priest ought to be, in order that he may justly be honoured himself and may cause the gods to be honoured. For as for us, we ought not to investigate or enquire as to his conduct, 2but so long as a man is called a priest we ought to honour and cherish him, but if he prove to be wicked we ought to allow his priestly office to be taken away from him, since he has shown himself unworthy of it. But so long as he sacrifices for us and makes offerings and stands in the presence of the gods, we must regard him with respect and reverence as the most highly honoured chattel of the gods. For it would be absurd for us to pay respect to the very stones of which the altars are made, on account of their being dedicated to the gods, because they have a certain shape and form suited to the ritual for which they have been fashioned, and then not to think that we ought to honour a man who has been dedicated to the gods. Perhaps someone will object — "But suppose he does wrong and often fails to offer to the gods their sacred rites?" Then indeed I answer that we ought to convict a man of that sort, so that he may not by his wickedness offend the gods; but that we ought not to dishonour him until he has been convicted. Nor indeed is it reasonable that when we have set our hands to this business, we should take away their honour not only from these offenders but also from those who are worthy to be honoured. Then let every priest, like every magistrate, be treated with respect, since there is also an oracle to that effect from the Didymaean god: "As for men who with reckless minds work wickedness against the priests of the deathless gods and plot against their privileges with plans that fear not the gods, never shall such men travel life's path to the end, men who have sinned against the blessed gods whose honour and holy service those priests have in charge." 2And again in another oracle the god says: "All my servants from harmful mischief——;" and he says that on their behalf he will inflict punishment on the aggressors.

Now though there are many utterances of the god to the same effect, by means of which we may learn to honour and cherish priests as we ought, I shall speak on this subject elsewhere at greater length. But for the present it is enough to point out that 1 am not inventing anything offhand, since I think that the declaration made by the god and the injunction expressed in his own words are sufficient. Therefore let any man who considers that as a teacher of such matters I am worthy to be believed show due respect to the god and obey him, and honour the priests of the gods above all other men. And now I will try to describe what sort of man a priest himself ought to be, though not for your especial benefit. For if I did not already know from the evidence both of the high priest and of the most mighty gods that you administer this priestly office aright — at least all matters that come under your management — I should not have ventured to confide to you a matter so important. But I do so in order that you may be able from what I say to instruct the other priests, not only in the cities but in the country districts also, more convincingly and with complete freedom; since not of your own self do you alone devise these precepts and practise them, but you have me also to give you support, who by the grace of the gods am known as sovereign pontiff, though I am indeed by no means worthy of so high an office; though I desire, and moreover constantly pray to the gods that I may be worthy. For the gods, you must know, hold out great hopes for us after death; and we must believe them absolutely. For they are always truthful, not only about the future life, but about the affairs of this life also. 2And since in the superabundance of their power they are able both to overcome the confusion that exists in this life and to regulate its disorders and irregularities, will they not all the more in that other life where conflicting things are reconciled, after the immortal soul has been separated from the body and the lifeless body has turned to earth, be able to bestow all those things for which they have held out hopes to mankind? Therefore since we know that the gods have granted to their priests a great' recompense, let us make them responsible in all things for men's esteem of the gods, displaying their own lives as an example of what they ought to preach to the people.

The first thing we ought to preach is reverence towards the gods. For it is fitting that we should perform our service to the gods as though they were themselves present with us and beheld us, and though not seen by us could direct their gaze, which is more powerful than any light, even as far as our hidden thoughts. And this saying is not my own but the god's, and has been declared in many utterances, but for me surely it is sufficient, by bringing forth one such utterance, to illustrate two things in one, namely how the gods see all things and how they rejoice in god-fearing men: "On all sides extend the far-seeing rays of Phoebus. His swift gaze pierces even through sturdy rocks, and travels through the dark blue sea, nor is he unaware of the starry multitude that passes in returning circuit through the unwearied heavens for ever by the statutes of necessity; nor of all the tribes of the dead in the underworld 300 whom Tartarus has admitted within the misty dwelling of Hades, beneath the western darkness. And I delight in god-fearing men as much even as in Olympus."

Now in so far as all soul, but in a much higher degree the soul of man, is akin to and related to the gods, so much the more is it likely that the gaze of the gods should penetrate through his soul easily and effectively. And observe the love of the god for mankind when he says that he delights in the disposition of god-fearing men as much as in Olympus most pure and bright. How then shall he not lead up our souls from the darkness and from Tartarus, if we approach him with pious awe? And indeed he has knowledge even of those who have been imprisoned in Tartarus — for not even that region falls outside the power of the gods, — and to the godfearing he promises Olympus instead of Tartarus. Wherefore we ought by all means to hold fast to deeds of piety, approaching the gods with reverence, and neither saying nor listening to anything base. And the priests ought to keep themselves pure not only from impure or shameful acts, but also from uttering words and hearing speeches of that character. Accordingly we must banish all offensive jests and all licentious intercourse. And that you may understand what I mean by this, let no one who has been consecrated a priest read either Archilochus or Hipponax or anyone else who writes such poems as theirs. And in Old Comedy let him avoid everything of that type — for it is better so — and indeed on all accounts philosophy alone will be appropriate for us priests; and of philosophers only those who chose the gods as guides of their mental discipline, like Pythagoras and Plato and Aristotle, and the school of Chrysippus and Zeno. For we ought not to give heed to them all nor to the doctrines of all, 301 but only to those philosophers and those of their doctrines that make men god-fearing, and teach concerning the gods, first that they exist, secondly that they concern themselves with the things of this world, and further that they do no injury at all either to mankind or to one another, out of jealousy or envy or enmity. I mean the sort of thing our poets in the first place have brought themselves into disrepute by writing, and in the second place such tales as the prophets of the Jews take pains to invent, and are admired for so doing by those miserable men who have attached themselves to the Galilaeans.

But for us it will be appropriate to read such narratives as have been composed about deeds that have actually been done; but we must avoid all fictions in the form of narrative such as were circulated among men in the past, for instance tales whose theme is love, and generally speaking everything of that sort. For just as not every road is suitable for consecrated priests, but the roads they travel ought to be duly assigned, so not every sort of reading is suitable for a priest. For words breed a certain sort of disposition in the soul, and little by little it arouses desires, and then on a sudden kindles a terrible blaze, against which one ought, in my opinion, to arm oneself well in advance.

Let us not admit discourses by Epicurus or Pyrrho; but indeed the gods have already in their wisdom destroyed their works, so that most of their books have ceased to be. Nevertheless there is no reason why I should not, by way of example, mention these works too, to show what sort of discourses priests must especially avoid; and if such discourses, then much more must they avoid such thoughts. For an error of speech is, in my opinion, by no means the same as an error of the mind, but we ought to give heed to the mind first of all, since the tongue sins in company with it. We ought to learn by heart the hymns in honour of the gods — and many and beautiful they are, composed by men of old and of our own time — though indeed we ought to try to know also those which are being sung in the temples. For the greater number were bestowed on us by the gods themselves, in answer to prayer, 302 though some few also were written by men, and were composed in honour of the gods by the aid of divine inspiration and a soul inaccessible to things evil.

All this, at least, we ought to study to do, and we ought also to pray often to the gods, both in private and in public, if possible three times a day, but if not so often, certainly at dawn and in the evening. For it is not meet that a consecrated priest should pass a day or a night without sacrifice; and dawn is the beginning of the day as twilight is of the night. And it is proper to begin both periods with sacrifice to the gods, even when we happen not to be assigned to perform the service. For it is our duty to maintain all the ritual of the temples that the law of our fathers prescribes, and we ought to perform neither more nor less than that ritual; for eternal are the gods, so that we too ought to imitate their essential nature in order that thereby we may make them propitious.

Now if we were pure soul alone, and our bodies did not hinder us in any respect, it would be well to prescribe one sort of life for priests. But since what he should practise when on duty concerns the individual priest alone, not priests absolutely, what should we concede to a man who has received the office of priest, on occasions when he is not actually engaged in service in the temples? I think that a priest ought to keep himself pure from all contamination, for a night and a day, and then after purifying himself for another night following on the first, with such rites of purification as the sacred laws prescribe, he should under these conditions enter the temple and remain there for as many days as the law commands. (Thirty is the number with us at Rome, but in other places the number varies.) It is proper then, I think, that he should remain throughout all these days in the sacred precincts, devoting himself to philosophy, and that he should not enter a house or a marketplace, 303 or see even a magistrate, except in the precincts, but should concern himself with his service to the god, overseeing and arranging everything in person; and then, when he has completed the term of days, he should retire from his office in favour of another. And when he turns again to the ordinary life of mankind, he may be allowed to visit a friend's house, and, when invited, to attend a feast, but not on the invitation of all but only of persons of the highest character. And at this time there would be nothing out of the way in his going occasionally to the market-place and conversing with the governor or the chief magistrate of his tribe, and giving aid, as far as lies in his power, to those who have a good reason for needing it.

And it is in my opinion fitting for priests to wear the most magnificent dress when they are within the temple performing the services, but when they are outside the sacred precincts to wear ordinary dress, without any extravagance. For it is not rational that we should misuse, in empty conceit and vain ostentation, what has been given to us for the honour of the gods. And for this reason we ought in the market place to abstain from too costly dress and from outward show, and in a word from every sort of pretentiousness. For consider how the gods, because they admired the perfect moderation of Amphiaraus, after they had decreed the destruction of that famous army — and he, though he knew that it would be so, went with the expedition and therefore did not escape his fated end, — the gods I say transformed him completely from what he had been, and removed him to the sphere of the gods. For all the others who were in the expedition against Thebes engraved a device on their shields before they had conquered the enemy, and erected trophies to celebrate the downfall of the Cadmeans; but he, the associate of the gods, when he went to war had arms with no device; but gentleness he had, and moderation, as even the enemy bore witness. Hence I think that we priests ought to show moderation in our dress, in order that we may win the goodwill of the gods, since it is no slight offence that we commit against them when we wear in public the sacred dress and make it public property, 304 and in a word give all men an opportunity to stare at it as though it were something marvellous. For whenever this happens, many who are not purified come near us, and by this means the symbols of the gods are polluted. Moreover what lawlessness it is, what arrogance towards the gods for us ourselves when we are not living the priestly life to wear the priestly dress! However, of this too I shall speak more particularly in another place; and what I am writing to you at the moment is only a mere outline of the subject.

No priest must anywhere be present at the licentious theatrical shows of the present day, nor introduce one into his own house; for that is altogether unfitting. Indeed if it were possible to banish such shows absolutely from the theatres so as to restore to Dionysus those theatres pure as of old, I should certainly have endeavoured with all my heart to bring this about; but as it is, since I thought that this is impossible, and that even if it should prove to be possible it would not on other accounts be expedient, I forebore entirely from this ambition. But I do demand that priests should withdraw themselves from the licentiousness of the theatres and leave them to the crowd. Therefore let no priest enter a theatre or have an actor or a chariot-driver for his friend; and let no dancer or mime even approach his door. And as for the sacred games, I permit anyone who will to attend those only in which women are forbidden not only to compete but even to be spectators. With regard to the hunting shows with dogs which are performed in the cities inside the theatres, need I say that not only priests but even the sons of priests must keep away from them?

Now it would perhaps have been well to say earlier from what class of men and by what method priests must be appointed; but it is quite appropriate that my remarks should end with this. 305 I say that the most upright men in every city, by preference those who show most love for the gods, and next those who show most love for their fellow men, must be appointed, whether they be poor or rich. And in this matter let there be no distinction whatever whether they are unknown or well known. For the man who by reason of his gentleness has not won notice ought not to be barred by reason of his want of fame. Even though he be poor and a man of the people, if he possess within himself these two things, love for God and love for his fellow men, let him be appointed priest. And a proof of his love for God is his inducing his own people to show reverence to the gods; a proof of his love for his fellows is his sharing cheerfully, even from a small store, with those in need, and his giving willingly thereof, and trying to do good to as many men as he is able.

We must pay especial attention to this point, and by this means effect a cure. For when it came about that the poor were neglected and overlooked by the priests, then I think the impious Galilaeans observed this fact and devoted themselves to philanthropy. And they have gained ascendancy in the worst of their deeds through the credit they win for such practices. For just as those who entice children with a cake, and by throwing it to them two or three times induce them to follow them, and then, when they are far away from their friends cast them on board a ship and sell them as slaves, and that which for the moment seemed sweet, proves to be bitter for all the rest of their lives — by the same method, I say, the Galilaeans also begin with their so-called love-feast, or hospitality, or service of tables, — for they have many ways of carrying it out and hence call it by many names, — and the result is that they have led very many into atheism. . . . .

5 Shorter Fragments
5 - 1

Then who does not know the saying of the Ethiopians about the food that with us is held to be most nutritious? For when they first handled bread they said they wondered how we manage to live on a diet of dung, that is if one may believe the Thurian chronicler. And those who write descriptions of the world relate that there are races of men who live on fish and flesh and have never even dreamed of our kind of diet. But if anyone in our country tries to adopt their diet, he will be no better off than those who take a dose of hemlock or aconite or hellebore.

Quoted by Suidas under Ἡρόδοτος and ὦν . . . ἑλλέβορον again under Ζηλῶσαι.

We hastened to the Hercynian forest and it was a strange and monstrous thing that I beheld. At any rate I do not hesitate to engage that nothing of the sort has ever been seen in the Roman Empire, at least as far as we know. But if anyone considers Thessalian Tempe or Thermopylae or the great and far-flung Taurus to be impassable, let me tell him that for difficulty of approach they are trivial indeed compared with the Hercynian forest.

Quoted by Suidas under Χρήμα.

To the Corinthiansedit
. . . My friendship with you dates from my father's time. For indeed my father lived in your city, and embarking thence, like Odysseus from the land of the Phaeacians, had respite from his long-protracted wanderings . . . there my father found repose.

Quoted by Libanius, Oration 1230. For Aristophanes (of Corinth)

. . . and the famous hierophant Iamblichus showed it to us . . . and we, since we believed the account of Empedotimus and Pythagoras, as well as that of Heracleides of Pontus who derived it from them. . . .

Quoted by Suidas from the Kronia, under Ἐμπεδότιμος and Ἰουλιανός. This fragment is all that survives of Julian's Kronia or Saturnalia, written in 36see Vol. Oration 157c. We know nothing more as to its contents.

They only knew how to pray

Quoted by Zosimus 2 οἱ δὲ παρὰ Κωνσταντίου δυθέντες αὐτῷ . . . μόνον εὔχεσθαι, καθάπερ αὐτός πού φησιν, ἤδεσαν, cf. Vol. 277D, p. 26Wright.

. . . that they may not, by sharpening their tongues, be prepared to meet their Hellenic opponents in debate.

Quoted by Socrates, History of the Church 1cf. Suidas under Μάρις. Socrates is quoting from an edict forbidding Christians to teach the classics; but in the extant edict, Letter 3these words do not occur.

. . . for in the words of the proverb, we are stricken by our own arrows. For from our own writings they take the weapons wherewith they engage in the war against us.

Quoted by Theodoret, History of the Church, Theodoret, like Socrates frag. quotes Julian on the Christian teachers of the classics.

Not to see beforehand what is possible and what impossible in practical affairs is a sign of the utmost foolishness.

Quoted by Suidas under Ἀπόνοια.

Accordingly he says in a letter: At present the Scythians are not restless, but perhaps they will become restless.

Preserved by Eunapius, frag. 2p. 221Dindorf.

To Euthymeles the Tribune.edit
A king delights in war.

Occurs in Ambrosianus, B with other sayings of the Emperor; Cumont, Recherches, p. 4thinks that they are derived from some lost historical work.

For I am rebuilding with all zeal the temple of the Most High God.

Preserved by John Lydus, De Mensibus. See Cumont, Recherches, p. 1note 1.

1To the citizens who acclaimed him in the temple of Fortuneedit
When I enter the theatre unannounced, acclaim me, but when I enter the temples be silent and transfer your acclamations to the gods; or rather the gods do not need acclamations.

First published by Muratori in Anecdota Graeca, Padua, 1709.

1To a Painteredit
If I did not possess it and you had bestowed it on me, you would have deserved to be forgiven; but if I possessed it and did not use it, I carried the gods, or rather was carried by them. Why, my friend, did you give me a form other than my own? Paint me exactly as you saw me.

1To the Bishops.edit
I recognised, I read, I condemned.

Quoted by Sozomen 1In some MSS. it occurs at the end of Letter 8To Basil.

6 Against the Galileans
6 - 1

Book Iedit
3It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that the fabrication of the Galilaeans is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. Though it has in it nothing divine, by making full use of that part of the soul which loves fable and is childish and foolish, it has induced men to believe that the monstrous tale is truth. 4Now since I intend to treat of all their first dogmas, as they call them, I wish to say in the first place that if my readers desire to try to refute me they must proceed as if they were in a court of law and not drag in irrelevant matter, or, as the saying is, bring counter-charges until they have defended their own views. 4For thus it will be better and clearer if, when they wish to censure any views of mine, they undertake that as a separate task, but when they are defending themselves against my censure, they bring no counter-charges.

It is worth while to recall in a few words whence and how we first arrived at a conception of God; next to compare what is said about the divine among the Hellenes and Hebrews; and finally to enquire of those who are neither Hellenes nor Jews, but belong to the sect of the Galilaeans, why they preferred the belief of the Jews to ours; and what, further, can be the reason why they do not even adhere to the Jewish beliefs but have abandoned them also and followed a way of their own. For they have not accepted a single admirable or important doctrine of those that are held either by us Hellenes or by the Hebrews who derived them from Moses; but from both religions they have gathered what has been engrafted like powers of evil, as it were, on these nations – 4atheism from the Jewish levity, and a sordid and slovenly way of living from our indolence and vulgarity; and they desire that this should be called the noblest worship of the gods.

5Now that the human race possesses its knowledge of God by nature and not from teaching is proved to us first of all by the universal yearning for the divine that is in all men whether private persons or communities, whether considered as individuals or as races. For all of us, without being taught, have attained to a belief in some sort of divinity, though it is not easy for all men to know the precise truth about it, nor is it possible for those who do know it to tell it to all men. . . . Surely, besides this conception which is common to all men, there is another also. I mean that we are all by nature so closely dependent on the heavens and the gods that are visible therein, that even if any man conceives of another god besides these, he in every case assigns to him the heavens as his dwelling-place; not that he thereby separates him from the earth, but he so to speak establishes the King of the All in the heavens as in the most honourable place of all, and conceives of him as overseeing from there the affairs of this world.

6What need have I to summon Hellenes and Hebrews as witnesses of this? There exists no man who does not stretch out his hands towards the heavens when he prays; and whether he swears by one god or several, if he has any notion at all of the divine, he turns heavenward. And it was very natural that men should feel thus. For since they observed that in what concerns the heavenly bodies there is no increase or diminution or mutability, and that they do not suffer any unregulated influence, but their movement is harmonious and their arrangement in concert; and that the illuminations of the moon are regulated, and that the risings and settings of the sun are regularly defined, and always at regularly defined seasons, they naturally conceived that the heaven is a god and the throne of a god. For a being of that sort, since it is not subject to increase by addition, or to diminution by subtraction, and is stationed beyond all change due to alteration and mutability, is free from decay and generation, and inasmuch as it is immortal by nature and indestructible, it is pure from every sort of stain. Eternal and ever in movement, as we see, it travels in a circuit about the great Creator, whether it be impelled by a nobler and more divine soul that dwells therein, just as, I mean, our bodies are by the soul in us, or having received its motion from God Himself, it wheels in its boundless circuit, in an unceasing and eternal career.

4Now it is true that the Hellenes invented their myths about the gods, incredible and monstrous stories. For they said that Kronos swallowed his children and then vomited them forth; and they even told of lawless unions, how Zeus had intercourse with his mother, and after having a child by her, married his own daughter, or rather did not even marry her, but simply had intercourse with her and then handed her over to another. 7Then too there is the legend that Dionysus was rent asunder and his limbs joined together again. This is the sort of thing described in the myths of the Hellenes. Compare with them the Jewish doctrine, how the garden was planted by God and Adam was fashioned by Him, and next, for Adam, woman came to be. For God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. Let us make him an help meet like, him." Yet so far was she from helping him at all that she deceived him, and was in part the cause of his and her own fall from their life of ease in the garden.

This is wholly fabulous. For is it probable that God did not know that the being he was creating as a help meet would prove to be not so much a blessing as a misfortune to him who received her? 8Again, what sort of language are we to say that the serpent used when he talked with Eve? Was it the language of human beings? And in what do such legends as these differ from the myths that were invented by the Hellenes? 8Moreover, is it not excessively strange that God should deny to the human beings whom he had fashioned the power to distinguish between good and evil? What could be more foolish than a being unable to distinguish good from bad? For it is evident that he would not avoid the latter, I mean things evil, nor would he strive after the former, I mean things good. And, in short, God refused to let man taste of wisdom, than which there could be nothing of more value for man. For that the power to distinguish between good and less good is the property of wisdom is evident surely even to the witless; 9so that the serpent was a benefactor rather than a destroyer of the human race. Furthermore, their God must be called envious. For when he saw that man had attained to a share of wisdom, that he might not, God said, taste of the tree of life, he cast him out of the garden, saying in so many words, "Behold, Adam has become as one of us, because he knows good from bad; and now let him not put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and thus live forever." 9Accordingly, unless every one of these legends is a myth that involves some secret interpretation, as I indeed believe, they are filled with many blasphemous sayings about God. For in the first place to be ignorant that she who was created as a help meet would be the cause of the fall; secondly to refuse the knowledge of good and bad, which knowledge alone seems to give coherence to the mind of man; and lastly to be jealous lest man should take of the tree of life and from mortal become immortal, – this is to be grudging and envious overmuch.

9Next to consider the views that are correctly held by the Jews, and also those that our fathers handed down to us from the beginning. Our account has in it the immediate creator of this universe, as the following shows. . . . Moses indeed has said nothing whatsoever about the gods who are superior to this creator, nay, he has not even ventured to say anything about the nature of the angels. But that they serve God he has asserted in many ways and often; but whether they were generated or un-generated, or whether they were generated by one god and appointed to serve another, or in some other way, he has nowhere said definitely. But he describes fully in what manner the heavens and the earth and all that therein is were set in order. In part, he says, God ordered them to be, such as light and the firmament, and in part, he says, God made them, such as the heavens and the earth, the sun and moon, and that all things which already existed but were hidden away for the time being, he separated, such as water, I mean, and dry land. But apart from these he did not venture to say a word about the generation or the making of the Spirit, but only this, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." But whether that spirit was ungenerated or had been generated he does not make at all clear.

4Now, if you please, we will compare the utterance of Plato. Observe then what he says about the creator, and what words he makes him speak at the time of the generation of the universe, in order that we may compare Plato's account of that generation with that of Moses. For in this way it will appear who was the nobler and who was more worthy of intercourse with God, Plato who paid homage to images, or he of whom the Scripture says that God spake with him mouth to mouth. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And God called the firmament Heaven. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass for fodder, and the fruit tree yielding fruit. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven that they may be for a light upon the earth. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to rule over the day and over the night."

In all this, you observe, Moses does not say that the deep was created by God, or the darkness or the waters. And yet, after saying concerning light that God ordered it to be, and it was, surely he ought to have gone on to speak of night also, and the deep and the waters. But of them he says not a word to imply that they were not already existing at all, though he often mentions them. Furthermore, he does not mention the birth or creation of the angels or in what manner they were brought into being, but deals only with the heavenly and earthly bodies. It follows that, according to Moses, God is the creator of nothing that is incorporeal, but is only the disposer of matter that already existed. For the words, "And the earth was invisible and without form" can only mean that he regards the wet and dry substance as the original matter and that he introduces God as the disposer of this matter.

5Now on the other hand hear what Plato says about the universe: "Now the whole heaven or the universe, – or whatever other name would be most acceptable to it, so let it be named by us, – did it exist eternally, having no beginning of generation, or has it come into being starting from some beginning? It has come into being. For it can be seen and handled and has a body; and all such things are the objects of sensation, and such objects of sensation, being apprehensible by opinion with the aid of sensation are things that came into being, as we saw, and have been generated. . . It follows, therefore, according to the reasonable theory, that we ought to affirm that this universe came into being as a living creature possessing soul and intelligence in very truth, both by the providence of God."

Let us but compare them, point by point. What and what sort of speech does the god make in the account of Moses, and what the god in the account of Plato?

5"And God said, Let us make man in our image, and our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, and said, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the cattle and over all the earth."

Now, I say, hear also the speech which Plato puts in the mouth of the Artificer of the All.

"Gods of Gods! Those works whose artificer and father I am will abide indissoluble, so long as it is my will. Lo, all that hath been fastened may be loosed, yet to will to loose that which is harmonious and in good case were the act of an evil being. Wherefore, since ye have come into being, ye are not immortal or indissoluble altogether, nevertheless ye shall by no means be loosed or meet with the doom of death, since ye have found in my will a bond more mighty and more potent than those wherewith ye were bound when ye came into being. Now therefore hearken to the saying which I proclaim unto you: Three kinds of mortal beings still remain unborn, and unless these have birth the heaven will be incomplete. For it will not have within itself all the kinds of living things. Yet if these should come into being and receive a share of life at my hands they would become equal to gods. Therefore in order that they may be mortal, and that this All may be All in very truth, turn ye according to your nature to the contriving of living things, imitating my power even as I showed it in generating you. And such part of them as is fitted to receive the same name as the immortals, which is called divine and the power in them that governs all who are willing ever to follow justice and you, this part I, having sowed it and originated the same, will deliver to you. For the rest, do you, weaving the mortal with the immortal, contrive living beings and bring them to birth; then by giving them sustenance increase them, and when they perish receive them back again."

6But since ye are about to consider whether this is only a dream, do ye learn the meaning thereof. Plato gives the name gods to those that are visible, the sun and moon, the stars and the heavens, but these are only the likenesses of the invisible gods. The sun which is visible to our eyes is the likeness of the intelligible and invisible sun, and again the moon which is visible to our eyes and every one of the stars are likenesses of the intelligible. Accordingly Plato knows of those intelligible and invisible gods which are immanent in and coexist with the creator himself and were begotten and proceeded from him. Naturally, therefore, the creator in Plato's account says "gods" when he is addressing the invisible beings, and "of gods," meaning by this, evidently, the visible gods. And the common creator of both these is he who fashioned the heavens and the earth and the sea and the stars, and begat in the intelligible world the archetypes of these.

Observe then that what follows is well said also. "For," he says, "there remain three kinds of mortal things," meaning, evidently, human beings, animals and plants; for each one of these has been denned by its own peculiar definition. "Now," he goes on to say, "if each one of these also should come to exist by me, it would of necessity become immortal." And indeed, in the case of the intelligible gods and the visible universe, no other cause for their immortality exists than that they came into existence by the act of the creator. When, therefore, he says, "Such part of them as is immortal must needs be given to these by the creator," he means the reasoning soul. "For the rest," he says, "do ye weave mortal with immortal." It is therefore clear that the creative gods received from their father their creative power and so begat on earth all living things that are mortal. For if there were to be no difference between the heavens and mankind and animals too, by Zeus, and all the way down to the very tribe of creeping things and the little fish that swim in the sea, then there would have had to be one and the same creator for them all. But if there is a great gulf fixed between immortals and mortals, 6and this cannot become greater by addition or less by subtraction, nor can it be mixed with what is mortal and subject to fate, it follows that one set of gods were the creative cause of mortals, and another of immortals.

Accordingly, since Moses, as it seems, has failed also to give a complete account of the immediate creator of this universe, 9let us go on and set one against another the opinion of the Hebrews and that of our fathers about these nations.

Moses says that the creator of the universe chose out the Hebrew nation, that to that nation alone did he pay heed and cared for it, and he gives him charge of it alone. But how and by what sort of gods the other nations are governed he has said not a word, – unless indeed one should concede that he did assign to them the sun and moon. However of this I shall speak a little later. Now I will only point out that Moses himself and the prophets who came after him and Jesus the Nazarene, yes and Paul also, who surpassed all the magicians and charlatans of every place and every time, 100. assert that he is the God of Israel alone and of Judaea, and that the Jews are his chosen people. Listen to their own words, and first to the words of Moses: "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Israel is my son, my firstborn. And I have said to thee, Let my people go that they may serve me. But thou didst refuse to let them go." And a little later, "And they say unto him, The God of the Hebrews hath summoned us; we will go therefore three days' journey into the desert, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God." And soon he speaks again in the same way, "The Lord the God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go that they may serve me in the wilderness."

10But that from the beginning God cared only for the Jews and that He chose them out as his portion, has been clearly asserted not only by Moses and Jesus but by Paul as well; though in Paul's case this is strange. For according to circumstances he keeps changing his views about God, as the polypus changes its colours to match the rocks, and now he insists that the Jews alone are God's portion, and then again, when he is trying to persuade the Hellenes to take sides with him, he says: "Do not think that he is the God of Jews only, but also of Gentiles: yea of Gentiles also." Therefore it is fair to ask of Paul why God, if he was not the God of the Jews only but also of the Gentiles, sent the blessed gift of prophecy to the Jews in abundance and gave them Moses and the oil of anointing, and the prophets and the law and the incredible and monstrous elements in their myths? For you hear them crying aloud: "Man did eat angels' food." And finally God sent unto them Jesus also, but unto us no prophet, no oil of anointing, no teacher, no herald to announce his love for man which should one day, though late, reach even unto us also. Nay he even looked on for myriads, or if you prefer, for thousands of years, while men in extreme ignorance served idols, as you call them, from where the sun rises to where he sets, yes and from North to South, save only that little tribe which less than two thousand years before had settled in one part of Palestine. For if he is the God of all of us alike, and the creator of all, why did he neglect us? 100. Wherefore it is natural to think that the God of the Hebrews was not the begetter of the whole universe with lordship over the whole, but rather, as I said before, that he is confined within limits, and that since his empire has bounds we must conceive of him as only one of the crowd of other gods. 10Then are we to pay further heed to you because you or one of your stock imagined the God of the universe, though in any case you attained only to a bare conception of Him? Is not all this partiality? God, you say, is a jealous God. But why is he so jealous, even avenging the sins of the fathers on the children?

11But now consider our teaching in comparison with this of yours. Our writers say that the creator is the common father and king of all things, but that the other functions have been assigned by him to national gods of the peoples and gods that protect the cities; every one of whom administers his own department in accordance with his own nature. For since in the father all things are complete and all things are one, while in the separate deities one quality or another predominates, therefore Ares rules over the warlike nations, Athene over those that are wise as well as warlike, Hermes over those that are more shrewd than adventurous; and in short the nations over which the gods preside follow each the essential character of their proper god. Now if experience does not bear witness to the truth of our teachings, let us grant that our traditions are a figment and a misplaced attempt to convince, 11and then we ought to approve the doctrines held by you. If, however, quite the contrary is true, and from the remotest past experience bears witness to our account and in no case does anything appear to harmonise with your teachings, why do you persist in maintaining a pretension so enormous?

Come, tell me why it is that the Celts and the Germans are fierce, while the Hellenes and Romans are, generally speaking, inclined to political life and humane, though at the same time unyielding and warlike? Why the Egyptians are more intelligent and more given to crafts, and the Syrians unwarlike and effeminate, but at the same time intelligent, hot-tempered, vain and quick to learn? For if there is anyone who does not discern a reason for these differences among the nations, but rather declaims that all this so befell spontaneously, how, I ask, can he still believe that the universe is administered by a providence? But if there is any man who maintains that there are reasons for these differences, let him tell me them, in the name of the creator himself, and instruct me. 13As for men's laws, it is evident that men have established them to correspond with their own natural dispositions; that is to say, constitutional and humane laws were established by those in whom a humane disposition had been fostered above all else, savage and inhuman laws by those in whom there lurked and was inherent the contrary disposition. For lawgivers have succeeded in adding but little by their discipline to the natural characters and aptitudes of men. Accordingly the Scythians would not receive Anacharsis among them when he was inspired by a religious frenzy, and with very few exceptions you will not find that any men of the Western nations have any great inclination for philosophy or geometry or studies of that sort, although the Roman Empire has now so long been paramount. But those who are unusually talented delight only in debate and the art of rhetoric, and do not adopt any other study; so strong, it seems, is the force of nature. Whence then come these differences of character and laws among the nations?

13Now of the dissimilarity of language Moses has given a wholly fabulous explanation. For he said that the sons of men came together intending to build a city, and a great tower therein, but that God said that he must go down and confound their languages. And that no one may think I am falsely accusing him of this, I will read from the book of Moses what follows: "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, before we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men had builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, 13and they have all one language; and this they have begun to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them which they purpose to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that no man may understand the speech of his neighbour. So the Lord God scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city and the tower." And then you demand that we should believe this account, while you yourselves disbelieve Homer's narrative of the Aloadae, namely that they planned to set three mountains one on another, "that so the heavens might be scaled." For my part I say that this tale is almost as fabulous as the other. But if you accept the former, why in the name of the gods do you discredit Homer's fable? For I suppose that to men so ignorant as you I must say nothing about the fact that, even if all men throughout the inhabited world ever employ one speech and one language, they will not be able to build a tower that will reach to the heavens, even though they should turn the whole earth into bricks. For such a tower will need countless bricks each one as large as the whole earth, if they are to succeed in reaching to the orbit of the moon. For let us assume that all mankind met together, employing but one language and speech, and that they made the whole earth into bricks and hewed out stones, when would it reach as high as the heavens, even though they spun it out and stretched it till it was finer than a thread? Then do you, who believe that this so obvious fable is true, and moreover think that God was afraid of the brutal violence of men, and for this reason came down to earth to confound their languages, do you, I say, still venture to boast of your knowledge of God?

13But I will go back again to the question how God confounded their languages. The reason why he did so Moses has declared: namely, that God was afraid that if they should have one language and were of one mind, they would first construct for themselves a path to the heavens 13and then do some mischief against him. But how he carried this out Moses does not say at all, but only that he first came down from heaven, – because he could not, as it seems, do it from on high, without coming down to earth. But with respect to the existing differences in characters and customs, neither Moses nor anyone else has enlightened us. And yet among mankind the difference between the customs and the political constitutions of the nations is in every way greater than the difference in their language. What Hellene, for instance, ever tells us that a man ought to marry his sister or his daughter or his mother? Yet in Persia this is accounted virtuous. But why need I go over their several characteristics, or describe the love of liberty and lack of discipline of the Germans, the docility and tameness of the Syrians, the Persians, the Parthians, and in short of all the barbarians in the East and the South, and of all nations who possess and are contented with a somewhat despotic form of government? Now if these differences that are greater and more important came about without the aid of a greater and more divine providence, why do we vainly trouble ourselves about and worship one who takes no thought for us? For is it fitting that he who cared nothing for our lives, our characters, our manners, our good government, our political constitution, should still claim to receive honour at our hands? Certainly not. You see to what an absurdity your doctrine comes. For of all the blessings that we behold in the life of man, those that relate to the soul come first, and those that relate to the body are secondary. If, therefore, he paid no heed to our spiritual blessings, neither took thought for our physical conditions, and moreover, did not send to us teachers or lawgivers as he did for the Hebrews, such as Moses and the prophets who followed him, for what shall we properly feel gratitude to him?

14But consider whether God has not given to us also gods and kindly guardians of whom you have no knowledge, gods in no way inferior to him who from the beginning has been held in honour among the Hebrews of Judaea, the only land that he chose to take thought for, as Moses declared and those who came after him, down to our own time. But even if he who is honoured among the Hebrews really was the immediate creator of the universe, our beliefs about him are higher than theirs, and he has bestowed on us greater blessings than on them, with respect both to the soul and to externals. Of these, however, I shall speak a little later. Moreover, he sent to us also lawgivers not inferior to Moses, if indeed many of them were not far superior.

14Therefore, as I said, unless for every nation separately some presiding national god (and under him an angel, a demon, a hero, and a peculiar order of spirits which obey and work for the higher powers) established the differences in our laws and characters, you must demonstrate to me how these differences arose by some other agency. Moreover, it is not sufficient to say, "God spake and it was so." For the natures of things that are created ought to harmonise with the commands of God. I will say more clearly what I mean. Did God ordain that fire should mount upwards by chance and earth sink down? Was it not necessary, in order that the ordinance of God should be fulfilled, for the former to be light and the latter to weigh heavy? And in the case of other things also this is equally true. . . . Likewise with respect to things divine. But the reason is that the race of men is doomed to death and perishable. Therefore men's works also are naturally perishable and mutable and subject to every kind of alteration. But since God is eternal, it follows that of such sort are his ordinances also. And since they are such, they are either the natures of things or are accordant with the nature of things. For how could nature be at variance with the ordinance of God? How could it fall out of harmony therewith? Therefore, if he did ordain that even as our languages are confounded and do not harmonise with one another, so too should it be with the political constitutions of the nations, then it was not by a special, isolated decree that he gave these constitutions their essential characteristics, or framed us also to match this lack of agreement. For different natures must first have existed in all those things that among the nations were to be differentiated. This at any rate is seen if one observes how very different in their bodies are the Germans and Scythians from the Libyans and Ethiopians. Can this also be due to a bare decree, and does not the climate or the country have a joint influence with the gods in determining what sort of complexion they have?

14Furthermore, Moses also consciously drew a veil over this sort of enquiry, and did not assign the confusion of dialects to God alone. For he says that God did not descend alone, but that there descended with him not one but several, and he did not say who these were. But it is evident that he assumed that the beings who descended with God resembled him. If, therefore, it was not the Lord alone but his associates with him who descended for the purpose of confounding the dialects, it is very evident that for the confusion of men's characters, also, not the Lord alone but also those who together with him confounded the dialects would reasonably be considered responsible for this division.

14Now why have I discussed this matter at such length, though it was my intention to speak briefly? For this reason: If the immediate creator of the universe be he who is proclaimed by Moses, then we hold nobler beliefs concerning him, inasmuch as we consider him to be the master of all things in general, but that there are besides national gods who are subordinate to him and are like viceroys of a king, each administering separately his own province; and, moreover, we do not make him the sectional rival of the gods whose station is subordinate to his. But if Moses first pays honour to a sectional god, and then makes the lordship of the whole universe contrast with his power, then it is better to believe as we do, and to recognise the God of the All, though not without apprehending also the God of Moses; this is better, I say, than to honour one who has been assigned the lordship over a very small portion, instead of the creator of all things.

15That is a surprising law of Moses, I mean the famous decalogue! "Thou shalt not steal." "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not bear false witness." But let me write out word for word every one of the commandments which he says were written by God himself.

"I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt." Then follows the second: "Thou shalt have no other gods but me." "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image." And then he adds the reason: " For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third generation." "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." "Remember the sabbath day." "Honour thy father and thy mother." " Thou shalt not commit adultery." "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not steal." "Thou shalt not bear false witness." "Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbour's."

Now except for the command "Thou shalt not worship other gods," and "Remember the sabbath day," what nation is there, I ask in the name of the gods, which does not think that it ought to keep the other commandments? So much so that penalties have been ordained against those who transgress them, sometimes more severe, and sometimes similar to those enacted by Moses, though they are sometimes more humane.

15But as for the commandment "Thou shalt not worship other gods," to this surely he adds a terrible libel upon God. "For I am a jealous God," he says, and in another place again, "Our God is a consuming fire." Then if a man is jealous and envious you think him blameworthy, whereas if God is called jealous you think it a divine quality? And yet how is it reasonable to speak falsely of God in a matter that is so evident? For if he is indeed jealous, then against his will are all other gods worshipped, and against his will do all the remaining nations worship their gods. Then how is it that he did not himself restrain them, if he is so jealous and does not wish that the others should be worshipped, but only himself? Can it be that he was not able to do so, or did he not wish even from the beginning to prevent the other gods also from being worshipped? However, the first explanation is impious, to say, I mean, that he was unable; and the second is in accordance with what we do ourselves. Lay aside this nonsense and do not draw down on yourselves such terrible blasphemy. For if it is God's will that none other should be worshipped, why do you worship this spurious son of his whom he has never yet recognised or considered as his own? This I shall easily prove. You, however, I know not why, foist on him a counterfeit son. . . .

160. Nowhere is God shown as angry, or resentful, or wroth, or taking an oath, or inclining first to this side, then suddenly to that, or as turned from his purpose, as Moses tells us happened in the case of Phinehas. If any of you has read the Book of Numbers he knows what I mean. For when Phinehas had seized with his own hand and slain the man who had dedicated himself to Baal-peor, and with him the woman who had persuaded him, striking her with a shameful and most painful wound through the belly, as Moses tells us, then God is made to say: "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them; and I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy." What could be more trivial than the reason for which God was falsely represented as angry by the writer of this passage? 16What could be more irrational, even if ten or fifteen persons, or even, let us suppose, a hundred, for they certainly will not say that there were a thousand, – however, let us assume that even as many persons as that ventured to transgress some one of the laws laid down by God; was it right that on account of this one thousand, six hundred thousand should be utterly destroyed? For my part I think it would be better in every way to preserve one bad man along with a thousand virtuous men than to destroy the thousand together with that one. . . .

For if the anger of even one hero or unimportant demon is hard to bear for whole countries and cities, who could have endured the wrath of so mighty a God, whether it were directed against demons or angels or mankind? 16It is worth while to compare his behaviour with the mildness of Lycurgus and the forbearance of Solon, or the kindness and benevolence of the Romans towards transgressors. 17But observe also from what follows how far superior are our teachings to theirs. The philosophers bid us imitate the gods so far as we can, and they teach us that this imitation consists in the contemplation of realities. And that this sort of study is remote from passion and is indeed based on freedom from passion, is, I suppose, evident, even without my saying it. In proportion then as we, having been assigned to the contemplation of realities, attain to freedom from passion, in so far do we become like God. But what sort of imitation of God is praised among the Hebrews? Anger and wrath and fierce jealousy. For God says: "Phinehas hath turned away my wrath from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them." For God, on finding one who shared his resentment and his grief, thereupon, as it appears, laid aside his resentment. 17These words and others like them about God Moses is frequently made to utter in the Scripture.

17Furthermore observe from what follows that God did not take thought for the Hebrews alone, but though he cared for all nations, he bestowed on the Hebrews nothing considerable or of great value, whereas on us he bestowed gifts far higher and surpassing theirs. For instance the Egyptians, as they reckon up the names of not a few wise men among themselves, can boast that they possess many successors of Hermes, I mean of Hermes who in his third manifestation visited Egypt; while the Chaldaeans and Assyrians can boast of the successors of Oannes and Belos; the Hellenes can boast of countless successors of Cheiron. For thenceforth all Hellenes were born with an aptitude for the mysteries and theologians, in the very way, you observe, which the Hebrews claim as their own peculiar boast. . . .

17But has God granted to you to originate any science or any philosophical study? Why, what is it? For the theory of the heavenly bodies was perfected among the Hellenes, after the first observations had been made among the barbarians in Babylon. And the study of geometry took its rise in the measurement of the land in Egypt, and from this grew to its present importance. Arithmetic began with the Phoenician merchants, and among the Hellenes in course of time acquired the aspect of a regular science. These three the Hellenes combined with music into one science, for they connected astronomy with geometry and adapted arithmetic to both, and perceived the principle of harmony in it. Hence they laid down the rules for their music, since they had discovered for the laws of harmony with reference to the sense of hearing an agreement that was infallible, or something very near to it.

18Need I tell over their names man by man, or under their professions? I mean, either the individual men, as for instance Plato, Socrates, Aristeides, Cimon, Thales, Lycurgus, Agesilaus, Archidamus, – or should I rather speak of the class of philosophers, of generals, of artificers, of lawgivers? For it will be found that even the most wicked and most brutal of the generals behaved more mildly to the greatest offenders than Moses did to those who had done no wrong. And now of what monarchy shall I report to you? 190. Shall it be that of Perseus, or Aeacus, or Minos of Crete, who purified the sea of pirates, and expelled and drove out the barbarians as far as Syria and Sicily, advancing in both directions the frontiers of his realm, and ruled not only over the islands but also over the dwellers along the coasts? And dividing with his brother Rhadamanthus, not indeed the earth, but the care of mankind, he himself laid down the laws as he received them from Zeus, but left to Rhadamanthus to fill the part of judge. . . .

19But when after her foundation many wars encompassed her, she won and prevailed in them all; and since she ever increased in size in proportion to her very dangers and needed greater security, then Zeus set over her the great philosopher Numa. This then was the excellent and upright Numa who dwelt in deserted groves and ever communed with the gods in the pure thoughts of his own heart. . . . It was he who established most of the laws concerning temple worship. 19Now these blessings, derived from a divine possession and inspiration which proceeded both from the Sibyl and others who at that time uttered oracles in their native tongue, were manifestly bestowed on the city by Zeus. And the shield which fell from the clouds and the head which appeared on the hill, from which, I suppose, the seat of mighty Zeus received its name, are we to reckon these among the very highest or among secondary gifts? And yet, ye misguided men, though there is preserved among us that weapon which flew down from heaven, which mighty Zeus or father Ares sent down to give us a warrant, not in word but in deed, that he will forever hold his shield before our city, you have ceased to adore and reverence it, but you adore the wood of the cross and draw its likeness on your foreheads and engrave it on your housefronts.

Would not any man be justified in detesting the more intelligent among you, or pitying the more foolish, who, by following you, have sunk to such depths of ruin that they have abandoned the ever-living gods and have gone over to the corpse of the Jew. . . . 19For I say nothing about the Mysteries of the Mother of the Gods, and I admire Marius. . . . 19For the spirit that comes to men from the gods is present but seldom and in few, and it is not easy for every man to share in it or at every time. Thus it is that the prophetic spirit has ceased among the Hebrews also, nor is it maintained among the Egyptians, either, down to the present. And we see that the indigenous oracles of Greece have also fallen silent and yielded to the course of time. Then lo, our gracious lord and father Zeus took thought of this, and that we might not be wholly deprived of communion with the gods has granted us through the sacred arts a means of enquiry by which we may obtain the aid that suffices for our needs.

200. I had almost forgotten the greatest of the gifts of Helios and Zeus. But naturally I kept it for the last. And indeed it is not peculiar to us Romans only, but we share it, I think, with the Hellenes our kinsmen. I mean to say that Zeus engendered Asclepius from himself among the intelligible gods, and through the life of generative Helios he revealed him to the earth. Asclepius, having made his visitation to earth from the sky, appeared at Epidaurus singly, in the shape of a man; but afterwards he multiplied himself, and by his visitations stretched out over the whole earth his saving right hand. He came to Pergamon, to Ionia, to Tarentum afterwards; and later he came to Rome. And he travelled to Cos and thence to Aegae. Next he is present everywhere on land and sea. He visits no one of us separately, and yet he raises up souls that are sinful and bodies that are sick.

20But what great gift of this sort do the Hebrews boast of as bestowed on them by God, the Hebrews who have persuaded you to desert to them? If you had at any rate paid heed to their teachings, you would not have fared altogether ill, and though worse than you did before, when you were with us, still your condition would have been bearable and supportable. For you would be worshipping one god instead of many, not a man, or rather many wretched men. 20And though you would be following a law that is harsh and stern and contains much that is savage and barbarous, instead of our mild and humane laws, and would in other respects be inferior to us, yet you would be more holy and purer than now in your forms of worship. But now it has come to pass that like leeches you have sucked the worst blood from that source and left the purer. 19Yet Jesus, who won over the least worthy of you, has been known by name for but little more than three hundred years: and during his lifetime he accomplished nothing worth hearing of, unless anyone thinks that to heal crooked and blind men and to exorcise those who were possessed by evil demons in the villages of Bethsaida and Bethany can be classed as a mighty achievement. 20As for purity of life you do not know whether he so much as mentioned it; but you emulate the rages and the bitterness of the Jews, overturning temples and altars, 20and you slaughtered not only those of us who remained true to the teachings of their fathers, but also men who were as much astray as yourselves, heretics, because they did not wail over the corpse in the same fashion as yourselves. But these are rather your own doings; for nowhere did either Jesus or Paul hand down to you such commands. The reason for this is that they never even hoped that you would one day attain to such power as you have; for they were content if they could delude maidservants and slaves, and through them the women, and men like Cornelius and Sergius. But if you can show me that one of these men is mentioned by the well-known writers of that time, – these events happened in the reign of Tiberius or Claudius, – then you may consider that I speak falsely about all matters.

20But I know not whence I was as it were inspired to utter these remarks. However, to return to the point at which I digressed, when I asked, "Why were you so ungrateful to our gods as to desert them for the Jews?" Was it because the gods granted the sovereign power to Rome, permitting the Jews to be free for a short time only, and then forever to be enslaved and aliens? Look at Abraham: was he not an alien in a strange land? And Jacob: was he not a slave, first in Syria, then after that in Palestine, and in his old age in Egypt? Does not Moses say that he led them forth from the house of bondage out of Egypt "with a stretched out arm"? And after their sojourn in Palestine did they not change their fortunes more frequently than observers say the chameleon changes its colour, now subject to the judges, now enslaved to foreign races? And when they began to be governed by kings, – but let me for the present postpone asking how they were governed: for as the Scripture tells us, God did not willingly allow them to have kings, but only when constrained by them, 2and after protesting to them beforehand that they would thus be governed ill, – still they did at any rate inhabit their own country and tilled it for a little over three hundred years. After that they were enslaved first to the Assyrians, then to the Medes, later to the Persians, and now at last to ourselves. 21Even Jesus, who was proclaimed among you, was one of Caesar's subjects. And if you do not believe me I will prove it a little later, or rather let me simply assert it now. However, you admit that with his father and mother he registered his name in the governorship of Cyrenius.

But when he became man what benefits did he confer on his own kinsfolk? Nay, the Galilaeans answer, they refused to hearken unto Jesus. What? How was it then that this hardhearted and stubborn-necked people hearkened unto Moses; but Jesus, who commanded the spirits and walked on the sea, and drove out demons, and as you yourselves assert made the heavens and the earth, – for no one of his disciples ventured to say this concerning him, save only John, and he did not say it clearly or distinctly; still let us at any rate admit that he said it – could not this Jesus change the dispositions of his own friends and kinsfolk to the end that he might save them?

21However, I will consider this again a little later when I begin to examine particularly into the miracle-working and the fabrication of the gospels. But now answer me this. Is it better to be free continuously and during two thousand whole years to rule over the greater part of the earth and the sea, or to be enslaved and to live in obedience to the will of others? No man is so lacking in self-respect as to choose the latter by preference. Again, will anyone think that victory in war is less desirable than defeat? Who is so stupid? But if this that I assert is the truth, point out to me among the Hebrews a single general like Alexander or Caesar! You have no such man. And indeed, by the gods, I am well aware that I am insulting these heroes by the question, but I mentioned them because they are well known. For the generals who are inferior to them are unknown to the multitude, and yet every one of them deserves more admiration than all the generals put together whom the Jews have had.

22Further, as regards the constitution of the state and the fashion of the law-courts, the administration of cities and the excellence of the laws, progress in learning and the cultivation of the liberal arts, were not all these things in a miserable and barbarous state among the Hebrews? 22And yet the wretched Eusebius will have it that poems in hexameters are to be found even among them, and sets up a claim that the study of logic exists among the Hebrews, since he has heard among the Hellenes the word they use for logic. What kind of healing art has ever appeared among the Hebrews, like that of Hippocrates among the Hellenes, and of certain other schools that came after him? 22Is their "wisest" man Solomon at all comparable with Phocylides or Theognis or Isocrates among the Hellenes? Certainly not. At least, if one were to compare the exhortations of Isocrates with Solomon's proverbs, you would, I am very sure, find that the son of Theodoras is superior to their "wisest" king. "But," they answer, "Solomon was also proficient in the secret cult of God." What then? Did not this Solomon serve our gods also, deluded by his wife, as they assert? What great virtue! What wealth of wisdom! He could not rise superior to pleasure, and the arguments of a woman led him astray! Then if he was deluded by a woman, do not call this man wise. But if you are convinced that he was wise, do not believe that he was deluded by a woman, but that, trusting to his own judgement and intelligence and the teaching that he received from the God who had been revealed to him, he served the other gods also. For envy and jealousy do not come even near the most virtuous men, much more are they remote from angels and gods. But you concern yourselves with incomplete and partial powers, which if anyone call daemonic he does not err. For in them are pride and vanity, but in the gods there is nothing of the sort.

22If the reading of your own scriptures is sufficient for you, why do you nibble at the learning of the Hellenes? And yet it were better to keep men away from that learning than from the eating of sacrificial meat. For by that, as even Paul says, he who eats thereof is not harmed, but the conscience of the brother who sees him might be offended according to you, O most wise and arrogant men! But this learning of ours has caused every noble being that nature has produced among you to abandon impiety. Accordingly everyone who possessed even a small fraction of innate virtue has speedily abandoned your impiety. It were therefore better for you to keep men from learning rather than from sacrificial meats. But you yourselves know, it seems to me, the very different effect on the intelligence of your writings as compared with ours; and that from studying yours no man could attain to excellence or even to ordinary goodness, whereas from studying ours every man would become better than before, even though he were altogether without natural fitness. But when a man is naturally well endowed, and moreover receives the education of our literature, he becomes actually a gift of the gods to mankind, either by kindling the light of knowledge, or by founding some kind of political constitution, or by routing numbers of his country's foes, or even by travelling far over the earth and far by sea, and thus proving himself a man of heroic mould. . .

Now this would be a clear proof: Choose out children from among you all and train and educate them in your scriptures, 230. and if when they come to manhood they prove to have nobler qualities than slaves, then you may believe that I am talking nonsense and am suffering from spleen. Yet you are so misguided and foolish that you regard those chronicles of yours as divinely inspired, though by their help no man could ever become wiser or braver or better than he was before; while, on the other hand, writings by whose aid men can acquire courage, wisdom and justice, these you ascribe to Satan and to those who serve Satan!

23Asclepius heals our bodies, and the Muses with the aid of Asclepius and Apollo and Hermes, the god of eloquence, train our souls; Ares fights for us in war and Enyo also; Hephaistus apportions and administers the crafts, and Athene the Motherless Maiden with the aid of Zeus presides over them all. Consider therefore whether we are not superior to you in every single one of these things, I mean in the arts and in wisdom and intelligence; and this is true, whether you consider the useful arts or the imitative arts whose end is beauty, such as the statuary's art, painting, or household management, and the art of healing derived from Asclepius whose oracles are found everywhere on earth, and the god grants to us a share in them perpetually. At any rate, when I have been sick, Asclepius has often cured me by prescribing remedies; and of this Zeus is witness. Therefore, if we who have not given ourselves over to the spirit of apostasy, fare better than you in soul and body and external affairs, why do you abandon these teachings of ours and go over to those others?

23And why is it that you do not abide even by the traditions of the Hebrews or accept the law which God has given to them? Nay, you have forsaken their teaching even more than ours, abandoning the religion of your forefathers and giving yourselves over to the predictions of the prophets? For if any man should wish to examine into the truth concerning you, he will find that your impiety is compounded of the rashness of the Jews and the indifference and vulgarity of the Gentiles. For from both sides you have drawn what is by no means their best but their inferior teaching, and so have made for yourselves a border of wickedness. For the Hebrews have precise laws concerning religious worship, and countless sacred things and observances which demand the priestly life and profession. But though their lawgiver forbade them to serve all the gods save only that one, whose "portion is Jacob, and Israel an allotment of his inheritance "; though he did not say this only, but methinks added also "Thou shalt not revile the gods"; yet the shamelessness and audacity of later generations, desiring to root out all reverence from the mass of the people, has thought that blasphemy accompanies the neglect of worship. This, in fact, is the only thing that you have drawn from this source; for in all other respects you and the Jews have nothing in common. Nay, it is from the new-fangled teaching of the Hebrews that you have seized upon this blasphemy of the gods who are honoured among us; but the reverence for every higher nature, characteristic of our religious worship, combined with the love of the traditions of our forefathers, you have cast off, and have acquired only the habit of eating all things, "even as the green herb." But to tell the truth, you have taken pride in outdoing our vulgarity, (this, I think, is a thing that happens to all nations, and very naturally) and you thought that you must adapt your ways to the lives of the baser sort, shopkeepers, tax-gatherers, dancers and libertines.

24But that not only the Galilaeans of our day but also those of the earliest time, those who were the first to receive the teaching from Paul, were men of this sort, is evident from the testimony of Paul himself in a letter addressed to them. For unless he actually knew that they had committed all these disgraceful acts, he was not, I think, so impudent as to write to those men themselves concerning their conduct, in language for which, even though in the same letter he included as many eulogies of them, he ought to have blushed, yes, even if those eulogies were deserved, while if they were false and fabricated, then he ought to have sunk into the ground to escape seeming to behave with wanton flattery and slavish adulation. But the following are the very words that Paul wrote concerning those who had heard his teaching, and were addressed to the men themselves: "Be not deceived: neither idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And of this ye are not ignorant, brethren, that such were you also; but ye washed yourselves, but ye were sanctified in the name of Jesus Christ." Do you see that he says that these men too had been of such sort, but that they "had been sanctified" and "had been washed," water being able to cleanse and winning power to purify when it shall go down into the soul? And baptism does not take away his leprosy from the leper, or scabs, or pimples, or warts, or gout, or dysentery, or dropsy, or a whitlow, in fact no disorder of the body, great or small, then shall it do away with adultery and theft and in short all the transgressions of the soul? . . .

25Now since the Galilaeans say that, though they are different from the Jews, they are still, precisely speaking, Israelites in accordance with their prophets, and that they obey Moses above all and the prophets who in Judaea succeeded him, let us see in what respect they chiefly agree with those prophets. And let us begin with the teaching of Moses, who himself also, as they claim, foretold the birth of Jesus that was to be. Moses, then, not once or twice or thrice but very many times says that men ought to honour one God only, and in fact names him the Highest; but that they ought to honour any other god he nowhere says. He speaks of angels and lords and moreover of several gods, but from these he chooses out the first and does not assume any god as second, either like or unlike him, such as you have invented. And if among you perchance you possess a single utterance of Moses with respect to this, you are bound to produce it. For the words "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; to him shall ye hearken," were certainly not said of the son of Mary. And even though, to please you, one should concede that they were said of him, Moses says that the prophet will be like him and not like God, a prophet like himself and born of men, not of a god. And the words " The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a leader from his loins," were most certainly not said of the son of Mary, but of the royal house of David, which, you observe, came to an end with King Zedekiah. And certainly the Scripture can be interpreted in two ways when it says "until there comes what is reserved for him "; but you have wrongly interpreted it "until he comes for whom it is reserved." But it is very clear that not one of these sayings relates to Jesus; for he is not even from Judah. How could he be when according to you he was not born of Joseph but of the Holy Spirit? For though in your genealogies you trace Joseph back to Judah, you could not invent even this plausibly. For Matthew and Luke are refuted by the fact that they disagree concerning his genealogy. 26However, as I intend to examine closely into the truth of this matter in my Second Book, I leave it till then. But granted that he really is "a sceptre from Judah," then he is not "God born of God," as you are in the habit of saying, nor is it true that "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made." But, say you, we are told in the Book of Numbers also: "There shall arise a star out of Jacob, and a man out of Israel." It is certainly clear that this relates to David and to his descendants; for David was a son of Jesse.

If therefore you try to prove anything from these writings, show me a single saying that you have drawn from that source whence I have drawn very many. But that Moses believed in one God, the God of Israel, he says in Deuteronomy: "So that thou mightest know that the Lord thy God he is one God; and there is none else beside him." 26And moreover he says besides, "And lay it to thine heart that this the Lord thy God is God in the heaven above and upon the earth beneath, and there is none else." And again, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord." And again, "See that I am and there is no God save me." These then are the words of Moses when he insists that there is only one God. But perhaps the Galilaeans will reply: "But we do not assert that there are two gods or three." But I will show that they do assert this also, and I call John to witness, who says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." You see that the Word is said to be with God? Now whether this is he who was born of Mary or someone else, – that I may answer Photinus at the same time, – this now makes no difference; indeed I leave the dispute to you; but it is enough to bring forward the evidence that he says "with God," and "in the beginning." How then does this agree with the teachings of Moses?

"But," say the Galilaeans, "it agrees with the teachings of Isaiah. For Isaiah says, 'Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' " Now granted that this is said about a god, though it is by no means so stated; for a married woman who before her conception had lain with her husband was no virgin, – but let us admit that it is said about her, – does Isaiah anywhere say that a god will be born of the virgin? But why do you not cease to call Mary the mother of God, if Isaiah nowhere says that he that is born of the virgin is the "only begotten Son of God" and "the firstborn of all creation"? But as for the saying of John, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made," can anyone point this out among the utterances of the prophets? But now listen to the sayings that I point out to you from those same prophets, one after another. "O Lord our God, make us thine; we know none other beside thee." And Hezekiah the king has been represented by them as praying as follows: "O Lord God of Israel, that sittest upon the Cherubim, thou art God, even thou alone." Does he leave any place for the second god? 27But if, as you believe, the Word is God born of God and proceeded from the substance of the Father, why do you say that the virgin is the mother of God? For how could she bear a god since she is, according to you, a human being? And moreover, when God declares plainly "I am he, and there is none that can deliver beside me," 27do you dare to call her son Saviour?

290. And that Moses calls the angels gods you may hear from his own words, "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." And a little further on: "And also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became the giants which were of old, the men of renown." Now that he means the angels is evident, and this has not been foisted on him from without, but it is clear also from his saying that not men but giants were born from them. For it is clear that if he had thought that men and not beings of some higher and more powerful nature were their fathers, he would not have said that the giants were their offspring. For it seems to me that he declared that the race of giants arose from the mixture of mortal and immortal. Again, when Moses speaks of many sons of God and calls them not men but angels, would he not then have revealed to mankind, if he had known thereof, God the "only begotten Word," or a son of God or however you call him? But is it because he did not think this of great importance that he says concerning Israel, "Israel is my firstborn son?" Why did not Moses say this about Jesus also? He taught that there was only one God, but that he had many sons who divided the nations among themselves. But the Word as firstborn son of God or as a God, or any of those fictions which have been invented by you later, he neither knew at all nor taught openly thereof. You have now heard Moses himself and the other prophets. 29Moses, therefore, utters many sayings to the following effect and in many places: "Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve." How then has it been handed down in the Gospels that Jesus commanded: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," if they were not intended to serve him also? And your beliefs also are in harmony with these commands, when along with the Father you pay divine honours to the son. . . .

And now observe again how much Moses says about the deities that avert evil: "And he shall take two he-goats of the goats for a sin-offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 29And Aaron shall bring also his bullock of the sin-offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself and for his house. And he shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the covenant. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scape-goat" so as to send him forth, says Moses, as a scape-goat, and let him loose into the wilderness. Thus then is sent forth the goat that is sent for a scape-goat. And of the second goat Moses says: "Then shall he kill the goat of the sin-offering that is for the people before the Lord, and bring his blood within the vail, and shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar-step, and shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel and because of their transgressions in all their sins." 30Accordingly it is evident from what has been said, that Moses knew the various methods of sacrifice. And to show that he did not think them impure as you do, listen again to his own words. "But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace-offerings that pertain unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." So cautious is Moses himself with regard to the eating of the flesh of sacrifice.

But now I had better remind you of what I said earlier, since on account of that I have said this also. Why is it, I repeat, that after deserting us you do not accept the law of the Jews or abide by the sayings of Moses? No doubt some sharp-sighted person will answer, "The Jews too do not sacrifice." But I will convict him of being terribly dull-sighted, for in the first place I reply that neither do you also observe any one of the other customs observed by the Jews; and, secondly, that the Jews do sacrifice in their own houses, 30and even to this day everything that they eat is consecrated; and they pray before sacrificing, and give the right shoulder to the priests as the firstfruits; but since they have been deprived of their temple, or, as they are accustomed to call it, their holy place, they are prevented from offering the firstfruits of the sacrifice to God. But why do you not sacrifice, since you have invented your new kind of sacrifice and do not need Jerusalem at all? And yet it was superfluous to ask you this question, since I said the same thing at the beginning, when I wished to show that the Jews agree with the Gentiles, except that they believe in only one God. That is indeed peculiar to them and strange to us; since all the rest we have in a manner in common with them – temples, sanctuaries, altars, purifications, and certain precepts. For as to these we differ from one another either not at all or in trivial matters. . . .

31Why in your diet are you not as pure as the Jews, and why do you say that we ought to eat everything "even as the green herb," putting your faith in Peter, because, as the Galilaeans say, he declared, "What God hath cleansed, that make not thou common"? What proof is there of this, that of old God held certain things abominable, but now has made them pure? For Moses, when he is laying down the law concerning four-footed things, says that whatsoever parteth the hoof and is cloven-footed and cheweth the cud is pure, but that which is not of this sort is impure. Now if, after the vision of Peter, the pig has now taken to chewing the cud, then let us obey Peter; for it is in very truth a miracle if, after the vision of Peter, it has taken to that habit. But if he spoke falsely when he said that he saw this revelation, – to use your own way of speaking, – in the house of the tanner, why are we so ready to believe him in such important matters? Was it so hard a thing that Moses enjoined on you when, besides the flesh of swine, he forbade you to eat winged things and things that dwell in the sea, and declared to you that besides the flesh of swine these also had been cast out by God and shown to be impure?

31But why do I discuss at length these teachings of theirs, when we may easily see whether they have any force? For they assert that God, after the earlier law, appointed the second. For, say they, the former arose with a view to a certain occasion and was circumscribed by definite periods of time, but this later law was revealed because the law of Moses was circumscribed by time and place. That they say this falsely I will clearly show by quoting from the books of Moses not merely ten but ten thousand passages as evidence, where he says that the law is for all time. Now listen to a passage from Exodus: "And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever; the first day shall ye put away leaven out of your houses." . . . Many passages to the same effect are still left, but on account of their number I refrain from citing them to prove that the law of Moses was to last for all time. But do you point out to me where there is any statement by Moses of what was later on rashly uttered by Paul, I mean that "Christ is the end of the law." Where does God announce to the Hebrews a second law besides that which was established? 320. Nowhere does it occur, not even a revision of the established law. For listen again to the words of Moses: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it. Keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day." And "Cursed be every man who does not abide by them all." But you have thought it a slight thing to diminish and to add to the things which were written in the law; and to transgress it completely you have thought to be in every way more manly and more high-spirited, because you do not look to the truth but to that which will persuade all men.

32But you are so misguided that you have not even remained faithful to the teachings that were handed down to you by the apostles. And these also have been altered., so as to be worse and more impious, by those who came after. At any rate neither Paul nor Matthew nor Luke nor Mark ventured to call Jesus God. But the worthy John, since he perceived that a great number of people in many of the towns of Greece and Italy had already been infected by this disease, and because he heard, I suppose, that even the tombs of Peter and Paul were being worshipped – secretly, it is true, but still he did hear this, – he, I say, was the first to venture to call Jesus God. And after he had spoken briefly about John the Baptist he referred again to the Word which he was proclaiming, and said, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." But how, he does not say, because he was ashamed. Nowhere, however, does he call him either Jesus or Christ, so long as he calls him God and the Word, but as it were insensibly and secretly he steals away our ears, and says that John the Baptist bore this witness on behalf of Jesus Christ, that in very truth he it is whom we must believe to be God the Word. 33But that John says this concerning Jesus Christ I for my part do not deny. And yet certain of the impious think that Jesus Christ is quite distinct from the Word that was proclaimed by John. That however is not the case. For he whom John himself calls God the Word, this is he who, says he, was recognised by John the Baptist to be Jesus Christ. Observe accordingly how cautiously, how quietly and insensibly he introduces into the drama the crowning word of his impiety; and he is so rascally and deceitful that he rears his head once more to add, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Then is this only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father the God who is the Word and became flesh? And if, as I think, it is indeed he, you also have certainly beheld God. For "He dwelt among you, and ye beheld his glory." Why then do you add to this that "No man hath seen God at any time"? For ye have indeed seen, if not God the Father, still God who is the Word. But if the only begotten Son is one person and the God who is the Word another, as I have heard from certain of your sect, then it appears that not even John made that rash statement.

33However this evil doctrine did originate with John; but who could detest as they deserve all those doctrines that you have invented as a sequel, while you keep adding many corpses newly dead to the corpse of long ago? You have filled the whole world with tombs and sepulchres, and yet in your scriptures it is nowhere said that you must grovel among tombs and pay them honour. But you have gone so far in iniquity that you think you need not listen even to the words of Jesus of Nazareth on this matter. Listen then to what he says about sepulchres: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres; outward the tomb appears beautiful, but within it is full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." If, then, Jesus said that sepulchres are full of uncleanness, how can you invoke God at them? . . .

33Therefore, since this is so, why do you grovel among tombs? Do you wish to hear the reason? It is not I who will tell you, but the prophet Isaiah: "They lodge among tombs and in caves for the sake of dream visions." 340. You observe, then, how ancient among the Jews was this work of witchcraft, namely, sleeping among tombs for the sake of dream visions. And indeed it is likely that your apostles, after their teacher's death, practised this and handed it down to you from the beginning, I mean to those who first adopted your faith, and that they themselves performed their spells more skilfully than you do, and displayed openly to those who came after them the places in which they performed this witchcraft and abomination.

34But you, though you practise that which God from the first abhorred, as he showed through Moses and the prophets, have refused nevertheless to offer victims at the altar, and to sacrifice. "Yes," say the Galilaeans, "because fire will not descend to consume the sacrifices as in the case of Moses." Only once, I answer, did this happen in the case of Moses; and again after many years in the case of Elijah the Tishbite. For I will prove in a few words that Moses himself thought that it was necessary to bring fire from outside for the sacrifice, and even before him, Abraham the patriarch as well. . .

34And this is not the only instance, but when the sons of Adam also offered firstfruits to God, 34the Scripture says, "And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offerings; but unto Cain and to his offerings he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord God said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? Is it not so – if thou offerest rightly, but dost not cut in pieces rightly, thou hast sinned?" Do you then desire to hear also what were their offerings? "And at the end of days it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruits of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof." You see, say the Galilaeans, it was not the sacrifice but the division thereof that God disapproved when he said to Cain, "If thou offerest rightly, but dost not cut in pieces rightly, hast thou not sinned?" This is what one of your most learned bishops told me. But in the first place he was deceiving himself and then other men also. For when I asked him in what way the division was blameworthy he did not know how to get out of it, or how to make me even a frigid explanation. And when I saw that he was greatly embarrassed, I said; "God rightly disapproved the thing you speak of. For the zeal of the two men was equal, in that they both thought that they ought to offer up gifts and sacrifices to God. But in the matter of their division one of them hit the mark and the other fell short of it. How, and in what manner? Why, since of things on the earth some have life and others are lifeless, and those that have life are more precious than those that are lifeless to the living God who is also the cause of life, inasmuch as they also have a share of life and have a soul more akin to his – for this reason God was more graciously inclined to him who offered a perfect sacrifice."

35Now I must take up this other point and ask them, Why, pray, do you not practise circumcision? "Paul," they answer, "said that circumcision of the heart but not of the flesh was granted unto Abraham because he believed. Nay it was not now of the flesh that he spoke, and we ought to believe the pious words that were proclaimed by him and by Peter." On the other hand hear again that God is said to have given circumcision of the flesh to Abraham for a covenant and a sign: "This is my covenant which ye shall keep, between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations. Ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be in token of a covenant betwixt me and thee and betwixt me and thy seed." . . . Therefore when He has undoubtedly taught that it is proper to observe the law, and threatened with punishment those who transgress one commandment, what manner of defending yourselves will you devise, you who have transgressed them all without exception? For either Jesus will be found to speak falsely, or rather you will be found in all respects and in every way to have failed to preserve the law. 35"The circumcision shall be of thy flesh," says Moses. But the Galilaeans do not heed him, and they say: "We circumcise our hearts." By all means. For there is among you no evildoer, no sinner; so thoroughly do you circumcise your hearts. They say: "We cannot observe the rule of unleavened bread or keep the Passover; for on our behalf Christ was sacrificed once and for all." Very well! Then did he forbid you to eat unleavened bread? And yet, I call the gods to witness, I am one of those who avoid keeping their festivals with the Jews; but nevertheless I revere always the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; who being themselves Chaldaeans, of a sacred race, skilled in theurgy, had learned the practice of circumcision while they sojourned as strangers with the Egyptians. And they revered a God who was ever gracious to me and to those who worshipped him as Abraham did, for he is a very great and powerful God, but he has nothing to do with you. For you do not imitate Abraham by erecting altars to him, or building altars of sacrifice and worshipping him as Abraham did, with sacrificial offerings. 35For Abraham used to sacrifice even as we Hellenes do, always and continually. And he used the method of divination from shooting stars. Probably this also is an Hellenic custom. But for higher things he augured from the flight of birds.

And he possessed also a steward of his house who set signs for himself.And if one of you doubts this, the very words which were uttered by Moses concerning it will show him clearly: "After these sayings the word of the Lord came unto Abraham in a vision of the night, sayings Fear not, Abraham: I am thy shield. Thy reward shall be exceeding great. And Abraham said. Lord God what wilt thou give me? For I go childless, and the son of Masek the slave woman will be my heir. And straightway the word of the Lord came unto him saying, This man shall not be thine heir: but he that shall come forth from thee shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth and said unto him, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And Abraham believed in the Lord: and it was counted to him for righteousness."

Tell me now why he who dealt with him, whether angel or God, brought him forth and showed him the stars? For while still within the house did he not know how great 35is the multitude of the stars that at night are always visible and shining? But I think it was because he wished to show him the shooting stars, so that as a visible pledge of his words he might offer to Abraham the decision of the heavens that fulfills and sanctions all things. 35And lest any man should think that such an interpretation is forced, I will convince him by adding what comes next to the above passage. For it is written next: "And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of the land of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle-dove and a pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another; but the birds divided he not. And the fowls came down upon the divided carcases, and Abraham sat down among them."

You see how the announcement of the angel or god who had appeared was strengthened by means of the augury from birds, and how the prophecy was completed, not at haphazard as happens with you, but with the accompaniment of sacrifices? Moreover he says that by the flocking together of the birds he showed that his message was true. And Abraham accepted the pledge, and moreover declared that a pledge that lacked truth seemed to be mere folly and imbecility. But it is not possible to behold the truth from speech alone, but some clear sign must follow on what has been said, a sign that by its appearance shall guarantee the prophecy that has been made concerning the future. . . .

35However, for your indolence in this matter there remains for you one single excuse, namely, that you are not permitted to sacrifice if you are outside Jerusalem, 32though for that matter Elijah sacrificed on Mount Carmel, and not in the holy city.

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