Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 1, by G.R.S. Mead, , at sacred-texts.com
“But All-Father Mind, being Life and Light, did bring forth Man (Ἄνθρωπον) co-equal to Himself.” 1
So runs the opening paragraph of what we may call the soteriological part of the “Pœmandres” treatise of our Trismegistic literature. This Man or Anthrōpos is the Spiritual Prototype of humanity and of every individual man, and is a technical term found in a number of the early Christianised Gnostic systems.
For instance, in a system some outlines of which are preserved in the polemical Refutation of Irenæus, 2 and which the Bishop of Lyons seems to associate with an Ophite tradition, while Theodoret 3 ascribes it to the Sethians, we are told that in the Unutterable Depth were two Great Lights,—the First Man, or Father, and His Son, the Second Man; and also the Holy Spirit, the First Woman, or Mother of all living.
In this tradition, moreover, the Son of the Mother—the chief Formative Power of the seven Demiurgic Potencies of the sensible cosmos—is called Ialdabaōth (? the Child of the Egg), who boasts himself to be
supreme. But his mother, Wisdom, reproves his pride, saying unto him: “Lie not, Ialdabaōth, for above thee is the Father of All, First Man, and Man Son of Man.” 1
But the main source of our information on this Anthrōpos tradition, in its Christianised Gnostic form, is to be found in Hippolytus Philosophumena; or, Refutation of all Heresies.
In 1842, Minoïdes Mynas, a learned Greek, sent on a literary mission by the French Government, discovered in one of the monasteries on Mount Athos the only MS. (generally ascribed to the fourteenth century) which we possess of this extremely valuable work. It was originally in ten books, but, unfortunately, the first three and the beginning of the fourth are missing from our MS. The first book, however, was already known, though previously erroneously ascribed to Origen, and was accordingly prefixed to the text of the editio princeps of our work by Emmanuel Miller (Oxford, 1851).
The missing Books II. and III. dealt respectively with the doctrines and mysteries of the Egyptians and with those of the Chaldæans. Hippolytus (Proœm.) boasts that he has divulged all their mysteries, as well as the secrets of those Christian mystics whom he stigmatises as heretics, and to whom he devotes Books V.-IX.
It is a curious fact that it is precisely those Books wherein this divulging of the Mysteries was attempted, which should be missing; not only have they disappeared, but in the Epitome at the beginning of Book X. the summary of their contents is also omitted. This seems almost to point to a deliberate removal of just
that information which would be of priceless value to us to-day, not only for the general history of the evolution of religious ideas, but also for filling in an important part of the background of the environment of infant Christianity.
Why, then, were these books cut out? Were the subsequent Christian Orthodox deterred by religious scruples, or were they afraid to circulate this information? Hippolytus himself seems to have had no such hesitation; he is ever delightedly boasting that he is giving away to the multitude the most sacred secrets of others; it seems to have been his special métier to cry aloud on the house-tops what had been whispered in their secret chambers. It was for him a delicious triumph over “error” to boast, “I have your secret documents, and I am going to publish them!”
Why, then, should those who came after him hesitate? Surely they were like-minded with Hippolytus, and would have been as delighted as himself in humbling the pride of the hated Mystery-institutions in the dust? Can it possibly be that they saw far more clearly than he did that quite other deductions might be drawn from his “startling revelations”?
That far other deductions could be drawn from the Mystery-rites and Mystery-myths was at anyrate the view of a tradition of early Jewish and Christian mystics whom Hippolytus calls Naassenes. The claim of these Gnostics was practically that Christianity, or rather the Good News of the Christ, was precisely the consummation of the inner doctrine of the Mystery-institutions of all the nations; the end of them all was the revelation of the Mystery of Man.
It is further to be noticed that these Naassenes, “who call themselves Gnostics” (v. 2), are the very first school of Christian “heresy” with which Hippolytus deals; he puts them in the forefront of his Refutation, as being, presumably, in his opinion, the oldest, or, at anyrate, as representing the most ancient form of Christian “heresy.”
Although the name Naassene (Ναασσηνοί) is derived from the Hebrew Naḥash (Serpent), Hippolytus does not call them Ophites; indeed, he reserves the latter name to a body to which he also gives (viii. 20) the name Caïnites and Nochaïtæ (Νοχαϊταί)—? Nachaïtæ, again, from Nachash 1—and considers them of not sufficient importance for further mention.
These Naassenes possessed many secret books or apocrypha—that is, books kept back from general circulation—and also regarded as authoritative the following scriptures: The Gospel of Perfection, The Gospel of Eve, The Questions of Mary, 2 Concerning the Offspring of Mary, The Gospel of Philip, The Gospel according to Thomas, and The Gospel according to the Egyptians. All of which points somewhat to an Alexandrian or Egyptian circle.
One of their secret MSS. had fallen into the hands of Hippolytus. It is in the Bishop of Portus quotations
from this document that Reitzenstein (pp. 81 ff.) seeks to discover what he calls the “Hellenistic Myth of the God Anthrōpos.” His theory is that, by eliminating the Christian citations and thoughts of the Naassene writer, we are face to face with a purely Heathen document.
The reproduction of their views, as given by Hippolytus, 1 falls according to Reitzenstein into three divisions.
(i.) The first begins with the explanation of the name “Naassene” (S. 131, 1; C. 139, 1 2), and, after giving a few brief headings, ends (S. 134, 8; C. 141, 2) with the statement that the writer of the MS. said they had their tradition from James, the Brother of the Lord, who had delivered it to Mariamnē.
(iii.) The third begins (S. 170, 64; C. 178, 1) with another explanation of the name. In both of these parts are found remains of hymns from some liturgical collection.
(ii.) Between i. and ii. lies a longer exposition in which Hippolytus tries to show that the Naassene doctrines are taken from the Mysteries, culminating in the assertion that the Naassenes, as a matter of fact, were nothing else than sectaries of the Mysteries of the Mother of the Gods, in proof of which he quotes at length from a secret document of their school.
Our interest in these quotations, however, is very different from that of Hippolytus, for, as Reitzenstein has now shown, it is manifest on inspection that the Christian quotations and thoughts in this document
violently disrupt its underlying continuity, and that they are for the most part easily removable without damage to the sense.
With regard to the Old Testament quotations it is not always so easy to disentangle them from the Hellenistic source, much less from the New Testament quotations; the phenomena, however, presented by them are of such a nature that, in my opinion, there is ample evidence before us that there was a Jewish working-over of the matter before it came into the hands of the Christian overwriter. Reitzenstein, however, does not venture so far.
Even, then, if we were content with Reitzensteins analysis only, it is quite clear that the quotations from the Old Testament formed no part of the original; and that we have, therefore, before us what was once a purely Heathen text, with Gnostic Christian scholia, or rather overworked by a Christian Gnostic. The original Pagan text had, accordingly, been cut up by the Naassene overwriter before ever it came into the hands of Hippolytus.
Now, as the Christianised text must have been for some time in private circulation before it reached the library of the Bishop of Portus 1—even if we make no allowance for a Jewish Hellenistic stratum of overwriting, still seeing that Hippolytus own view was that, in the Naassene MS., he had before him a basic document of those whom he regarded as the earliest Christian “heretics”—it is quite evident that if we were to place the date of the original Hellenistic source in the first century, we should not be doing violence even to the ecclesiastical traditional absurdity that Gnosticism first sullied the orthodox purity of the Church only
in the reign of Trajan (96-117 A.D.). But we will return to the question of date later on.
As the whole matter is not only one of considerable interest for the student of our treatises, but also of the greatest importance for the student of the history of Gnosticism, I shall give a translation of Hippolytus introductory and concluding sections, as well as of the intermediate section which specially concerns us, so that the reader may have a view of the whole medley as it comes to us from the hands of the heresy-hunting bishop.
I shall, moreover, proceed a stage further in the analysis of the material of Hippolytus than Reitzenstein has done, and hope, when the evidence has been laid before the reader, to win his assent to what appears to me to be the natural sifting out of the various elements, with resultant phenomena which are of the greatest importance for the history of Gnosticism, and, therefore, of the evolution of Christian dogmatics, and which lead to conclusions that are far too serious to be treated in the short space of a single chapter of our present essay.
In the following analysis H. stands for Hippolytus; C. for the Christian Gnostic final overwriter, the “Naassene” whose MS. lay before H.; J. for the Naassene Jewish mystic who preceded C. and overworked the original; S. for the original Heathen Hellenistic Source.
As H. and C. are of secondary importance for our immediate enquiry, though of themselves of the greatest value and interest, I shall print them in smaller type. J. I shall print in the same type as S., as nearer in contact with S. than C., and as being sometimes more difficult to detach from S. than from C.
The reader, to have the text of Hippolytus before him, must neglect all the critical indications and read straight on.
With these brief preliminary indications we will, then, present the reader with a translation of the first section, or introductory part, 1 of Hippolytus exposure or exposition of the Naassene doctrines, begging him to remember throughout that it is a portrait painted by the hand of one of their bitterest foes.
H. The priests and chiefs of [this] doctrine 2 were first of all those who were called Naasseni—so named in Hebrew, [in which] “serpent” is called naas. 3 But subsequently they called themselves Gnostics, pretending that they alone knew the Depths.
From these many separated themselves and [so] turned the school, which was originally a single one, into numerous sects, setting forth the same ideas in various doctrinal forms, as our argument will show as it advances.
These [Naassenes] honour as the Logos (Reason) of all universals 4 Man, and Son of Man. This Man is male-female, and is called by them Adamas. 5 And they have many intricate 6 hymns in his honour. These hymns—to dispose of them briefly—run somewhat as follows:
J. “From Thee [is] Father, and Through Thee 7 Mother—the two Immortal Names, 8 Parents of Æons, O Thou who hast the Heaven for Thy City, O Man of Mighty Names.” 9
H. And they divide him into three, like Gēryōnēs; 1 for, they say, he has a mental, psychic, and choïc [aspect]; 2 and they think that the Gnosis of 3 this [Man] is the beginning of the possibility of knowing God, saying:
J. The beginning of Perfection [is] the Gnosis of Man, but the Gnosis of God is perfected Perfection. 4
H. All these, he says 5—mental, psychic, and earthy—descended together into one man—Jesus, born of Mary.
And these three Men, he says, spake each from their own special essences to their own special folk.
For of the universal principles there are three kinds [or races]—the angelic, psychic, and earthy; and three churches—angelic, psychic, and earthy named the Elect, Called, and Bound.
These are the chief heads from a very large number of doctrines, 6 which, he says, James, the Brother of the Lord, handed on to Mariamnē. 7
But in order that we may put an end to the lying accounts of these impious [heretics] concerning Mariamnē, and James, and the Saviour Himself, 1 let us come to the Initiations from which they get this myth—if you like [to call it so]—to the non-Grecian and Grecian [Initiations]; and let us see how, by combining together the secret Mysteries of all the Gentiles which must not be spoken of, and by telling lies about the Christ, they take in those who do not know that these things are the Orgies of the Gentiles.
Now, since the foundation of their system is Man Adamas, and they say it has been written of him, “Who shall declare his generation?” 2—learn how they have taken the undiscoverable and contradictory generation of Man and plastered it on the Christ.
(1) S. “Earth (say the Greeks 3) first brought forth Man—bearing a fair gift, desiring to be mother not of plants without feeling, nor of brutes without reason, but of a tamed God-loving life.
“Difficult is it (H. he says 4) to discover whether it was among the Bœotians that Alalkomeneus rose from the Kephisian Lake as first of men; or whether
it was the Idæan Kurētes, race divine, or the Phrygian Korybantes, whom Helios saw first sprouting forth tree-like; or whether Arkadia brought forth Pelasgos [first], older than the Moon; or Eleusis Diaulos, dweller in Raria; or Lēmnos Kabeiros, fair child of ineffable orgies; 1 or whether Pallēnē Phlegræan Alkyoneus, eldest of Giants.
“The Libyans say that Garamas, 2 rising from parched plains, first picked sweet date of Zeus; while Neilos, making fat the mud of Egypt to this day (H. he says), breeds living things, and renders from damp heat things clothed in flesh.” 3
The Assyrians say it was with them Ōannēs, the Fish-eater; while the Chaldæans [say that it was] Adam.
(2) J. And this Adam they [the Chaldæans] say was the man that Earth produced—a body only, and that he lay breathless, motionless, immovable, like a statue, being an image of that Man Above—
H. —of whom they sing, and brought into existence by the many Powers, 1 concerning which there is much detailed teaching.
J. In order, then, that the Great Man from Above—
C. From whom, as is said, every fatherhood has its name on earth or in the heavens. 2
J. —might be completely brought low, there was given unto him 3 Soul also, in order that through the Soul the enclosed plasm of the Great, Most-fair, and Perfect Man might suffer and be chastened.
H. For thus they call Him. They seek to discover then further what is the Soul, and whence, and of what nature, that by entering into man and moving him, it should enslave and chasten the plasm of the Perfect Man; but they seek this also not from the Scriptures, but from the Mysteries.
(3) S. And they 4 say that Soul is very difficult to discover, and hard to understand; for it never remains of the same appearance, or form, or in the same state, so that one can describe it by a general type, 5 or comprehend it by an essential quality.
H. These variegated metamorphoses they 6 have laid down in the Gospel, superscribed “According to the Egyptians.” 7
S. They are accordingly in doubt—
H. —like all the rest of the Gentiles—
J. —whether it [sc. the Soul] is from the Pre-existing [One], or from the Self-begotten, or from the Streaming Chaos. 8
H. And first of all, in considering the triple division of Man, they fly for help to the Initiations of the Assyrians; for the Assyrians were the first to consider the Soul triple and [yet] one.
(4) S. Now every nature (H. he says) yearns after Soul—one in one way and another in another.
For Soul is cause of all in Genesis. All things that are sustained and grow (H. he says) need Soul. Indeed, no sustenance (H. he says) or growth is possible without the presence of Soul.
Nay, even stones (H. he says) are ensouled; 1 for they have the power of increase [or growth]; and growth could not take place without sustenance; for it is by addition that things which increase grow; and addition is the sustenance of that which is sustained. 2
(5) Now the Assyrians call this [Mystery] Adōnis (or Endymiōn). And whenever it is called Adōnis (H. he says), it is Aphroditē who is in love with and desires Soul so-called.
H. And Aphroditē is Genesis according to them. 3
But when Persephonē (that is, Korē) is in love with Adōnis, Soul becomes subject to Death, separated from Aphrodite (that is, from Genesis).
But if Selēnē is impassioned of Endymiōn, and is in
love with [formal] beauty, 1 it is the Nature of the higher [spaces 2] (H. he says) which desires Soul.
(6 3) But if (H. he says) the Mother of the Gods emasculate Attis—she, too, regarding him as the object of her love—it is the Blessed Nature Above of the supercosmic and æonian [spaces] which calls back the masculine power of Soul to herself. 4
H. For Man, he says, is male-female. According, then, to this theory of theirs, the intercourse between man and woman is exhibited as most mischievous, and is forbidden according to their teaching.
J. For Attis (H. he says) is emasculated—that is, [Soul is separated] from the earthy parts of the creation [tending] downwards, and ascends in quest of the Æonian Essence Above—
C. —where (H. he says) is “neither male nor female,” 1 but a new creature, a new man, who is male-female.
H. What they call “Above” I will explain when I come to the proper place. And they say that this theory is supported not simply by [the myth] of Rhea, but also, to put it briefly, by universal creation.
Nay, they make out that this is [even] what was said by the Word (Logos): 2
C. “For the invisible 3 things of Him [God]—namely, His Eternal 4 Power and Godhead—are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by His things that are made; so that they [men] are without excuse. Because that, though knowing God, they glorified Him not as God, nor did they give [Him] thanks, but their non-understanding heart was made foolish. 5
“Professing themselves to be wise, they convicted themselves of folly, and changed the Glory of the Incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 1 . . . 2
“Wherefore also God gave them up to passions of dishonour; for both their females did change their natural use to that which is against nature—
H. And what the natural use is, according to them, we will say later on.
C. —“and likewise also their males, leaving the natural use of the female, burned in their lust for one another, males with males working unseemliness 3—
H. And “unseemliness,” according to them, is the First and Blessed Formless Essence, the Cause of all forms for things enformed. 4
C. —“and receiving in themselves the recompense of their Error which was meet.”
H. For in these words which Paul spake is contained, they say, the whole of their hidden and ineffable Mystery of the Blessed Bliss.
For what is promised by the [rite of the] bath 5 is nothing else, according to them, than the introduction into Unfading Bliss of him who, according to them, is washed with Living Water, and anointed with the Chrism that no tongue can declare. 6
(7) And they say that not only the Mysteries of the Assyrians and Phrygians substantiate this teaching (logos) concerning the Blessed Nature, which is at once hidden and manifest [but also those of the Egyptians 1].
C. 2 [The Nature] which (H. he says) is the Kingdom of the Heavens sought for within man—
H. —concerning which [Nature] they hand on a distinct tradition in the Gospel entitled According to Thomas, saying as follows:
C. “He who seeketh shall find me in children from the age of seven years 3; for in them at the fourteenth year 4 [lit. æon] I hidden am made manifest.”
H. But this is not Christs Saying but that of Hippocrates:
“A boy of seven years [is] half a father.” 5
Hence as they place the Original Nature of the universals in the Original Seed, having learned the Hippocratian dictum that a child of seven is half a father, they say at fourteen years, according to Thomas, it is manifested. This 6 is their ineffable and mysterious Logos. 7
(8 8) S. (H.—At anyrate they say that) the Egyptians—who are the most ancient of men after the Phrygians, who at the same time were confessedly the first to communicate to mankind the Mystery-rites and Orgies of all the Gods, and to declare their Forms and Energies—have the mysteries of Isis, holy, venerable, and not to be disclosed to the uninitiated.
H. And these are nothing else than the robbing of the member of Osiris, and its being sought for by the seven-robed and black-mantled 1 [Goddess].
And (they [the Egyptians] say) Osiris is Water. 2 And Seven-robed Nature—
H. —having round her, nay, robing herself in seven ætheric vestures—for thus they 3 allegorically designate the planet-stars, calling [their spheres] ætheric vestures—
S. —being metamorphosed, as ever-changing Genesis, by the Ineffable and Uncopiable and Incomprehensible and Formless, is shown forth as creation.
J. And this is what (H. he says) is said in the Scripture:
“Seven times the Just shall fall and rise again.” 4
For these “fallings” (H. he says) are the changes of the stars, 5 set in motion by the Mover of all things.
(9) S. Accordingly they 6 declare concerning the Essence of the Seed which is the cause of all things in
[paragraph continues] Genesis, that it is none of these things, but that it begets and makes all generated things, saying:
“I become what I will, and am what I am.” 1
Therefore (H. he says) That which moves all is unmoved; for It remains what It is, making all things, and becomes no one of the things produced.
(H. He says that) This is the Only Good—
C. And concerning this was spoken what was said by the Saviour:
“Why callest thou me Good? One is Good 2—my Father in the Heavens, who maketh His sun to rise on righteous and unrighteous, and sendeth rain on saints and sinners.” 3
H. And who are the saints on whom He sendeth rain and the sinners on whom He also sendeth rain—this also he tells subsequently with the rest.
S. —and (H. that) This is the Great, Hidden, and Unknown Mystery of the Egyptians, Hidden and [yet] Revealed.
For there is no temple (H. he says) before the
entrance of which the Hidden [Mystery] does not stand naked, pointing from below above, and crowned with all its fruits of generation.
(10) And (H. they say) it stands so symbolised not only in the most sacred temples before the statues, but also set up for general knowledge—
C. —as it were “a light not under the bushel, but” set “on the candlestick” 1—a preaching “heralded forth on the house-tops.” 2
S. —on all the roads and in all the streets, and alongside the very houses as a boundary and limit of the dwelling; (H. that) This is the God spoken of by all, for they call Him Bringer-of-good, not knowing what they say.
H. And this mystery [-symbol] the Greeks got from the Egyptians, and have it [even] to this day.
At anyrate, he says, we see the “Hermes” 3 honoured by them in this form.
(11) S. And the Cyllenians, treating [this symbol] with special honour, [regard it as the] Logos. 4
For (H. he says) Hermes is [the] Logos, who, as being the Interpreter and Fabricator of all things that have been and are and shall be, was honoured by them under the symbolism of this figure, namely an ithyphallus.
And that he (H. that is Hermes, so symbolised) is
[paragraph continues] Conductor and Reconductor of souls, 1 and Cause of souls, has not escaped the notice of the poets (H. of the Gentiles), when saying:
“But Cyllenian Hermes summoned forth the souls
Of men mindful” 2—
—not the “suitors” of Penelope (H. he says), hapless wights! but of those who are roused from sleep, and have their memory restored to them—
“From what honour and [how great] degree of blessedness.” 3
J. That is, from the Blessed Man Above—
H. —or Original Man, or Adamas, as they 4 think—
J. —they 5 have been thus brought down into the plasm of clay, in order that they may be enslaved to the Demiurge of this creation, Esaldaios 6—
H. —a fiery God, fourth in number, for thus they call the Demiurge and Father of this special cosmos. 7
(13) S. “And he 1 holds a rod in his hands,
Beautiful, golden; and with it he spell-binds the eyes of men,
Whomsoever he would, and wakes them again too from sleep.” 2
This (H. he says) is He who alone hath the power of life and death. 3
J. Concerning Him it is written: “Thou shalt shepherd them with a rod of iron.” 4
But the poet (H. he says), wishing to embellish the incomprehensibility of the Blessed Nature of the Logos, bestowed upon Him a golden instead of an iron rod.
S. “He spell-binds the eyes” of the dead (H. he says), and “wakes them again too from sleep”—those who are waked from sleep and become “mindful.” 5
C. Concerning them the Scripture saith: “Awake thou that sleepest, and rise, and Christ will give thee light.” 6
This is the Christ, the Son of Man (H. he says), expressed in all who are born from the Logos, whom no expression can express.
S. This (H. he says) is the Great Ineffable Mystery of the Eleusinia: “Hye Kye.” 7
J. And that (H. he says) all things have been put under Him, this too has been said: “Into all the earth hath gone forth their sound.” 1
(14) S. And “Hermes leads them, moving his rod, and they follow, squeaking” 2—the souls in a cluster, as the poet hath shown in the following image:
“But as when bats into some awesome caves recess
Fly squeaking—should one from out the cluster fall
Down from the rock, they cling to one another.” 3
J. The “rock” (H. he says) means Adamas. This (H. he says) is the “corner-stone”—
C. —“that hath become the head of the corner.” 4 For in the
[paragraph continues] “Head” is the expressive Brain 1 of the Essence, from which [Brain] “every fatherhood” 2 has its expression—
J. —which “I insert in the foundation of Zion.” 3
[By this] (H. he says) he 4 means, allegorically, the plasm of man. For the Adamas who is “inserted” is [the inner man, and the “foundations of Zion” are 5] the “teeth”—the “fence of the teeth,” as Homer says—the Wall and Palisade 6 in which is the inner man, fallen into it from the Primal Man, the Adamas Above—[the Stone] “cut without hands” 7 cutting it, and brought down into the plasm of forgetfulness, the earthy, clayey [plasm].
(15) S. And (H. he says that) they followed Him squeaking 8—the souls, the Logos.
“Thus they went squeaking together; and he led them on,
Hermes, the guileless, down the dark ways.” 9
That is, (H. he says) [He led them] into the eternal lands free from all guile. For where (H. he says) went they?
(16) “They passed by the streams of Ocean, and by the White Rock,
By the Gates of the Sun, and the People of Dreams.” 10
For He (H. he says) is Ocean—“birth-causing of
gods and birth-causing of men” 1—flowing and ebbing for ever, now up and now down.
J. When Ocean flows down (H. he says), it is the birth-causing of men; and when [it flows] up, towards the Wall and Palisade, and the “White Rock,” it is the birth-causing of gods.
This (H. he says) is what is written:
“I have said ye are Gods and all Sons of the Highest 2—if ye hasten to flee from Egypt and get you beyond the Red Sea into the Desert”; that is, from the intercourse below to the Jerusalem Above, who is the Mother of the Living. 3 “But if ye turn back again into Egypt”—that is, to the intercourse below—“ye shall die like men.” 4
For (H. he says) all the generation below is subject to death, but the [birth] begotten above is superior to death.
C. For from water alone—that is, spirit—is begotten the spiritual [man], not the fleshly; the lower [man] is fleshly. That is (H. he says) what is written: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” 5
H. This is their 6 spiritual birth.
J. This (H. he says) is the Great Jordan, which, flowing downwards and preventing the sons of Israel
from going forth out of Egypt, or from the intercourse below—
H. —for Egypt is the body, according to them—
J. —was turned back by Jesus 1 and made to flow upwards.
H. Following after these and such like [follies], these most wonderful “Gnostics,” discoverers of a new grammatical art, imagine that their prophet Homer showed forth these things arcanely; and, introducing those who are not initiated into the Sacred Scriptures into such notions, they make a mock of them.
And they say that he who says that all things are from One, is in error, [but] he who says they are from Three is right, and will furnish proof of the first principles [of things]. 2
J. For one (H. he says) is the Blessed Nature of the Blessed Man Above, Adamas; and one is the [Nature] Below, which is subject to Death; and one is the Race without a king 3 which is born Above—where (H. he says) is Mariam the sought-for, and Jothōr the great sage, and Sepphōra the seeing, and Moses whose begetting is not in Egypt—for sons were born to him in Madiam. 4
S. And this (H. he says) also did not escape the notice of the poets:
“All things were threefold divided, and each received his share of honour.” 1
C. For the Greatnesses (H. he says) needs must be spoken, but so spoken by all everywhere, “that hearing they may not hear, and seeing they may not see.” 2
J. For unless (H. he says) the Greatnesses 3 were spoken, the cosmos would not be able to hold together. These are the Three More-than-mighty Words (Logoi): Kaulakau, Saulasau, Zeēsar;—Kaulakau, the [Logos] Above, Adamas; Saulasau, the [Logos] Below; Zeēsar, the Jordan flowing upwards. 4
(17 5) S. He (H. he says) is the male-female Man
in all, whom the ignorant call three-bodied Gēryonēs—Earth-flow-er, as though flowing from the earth; 1 while the Greek [theologi] generally call Him the “Heavenly Horn of Mēn,” 2 because He has mixed and mingled 3 all things with all.
C. For “all things (H. he says) were made through Him, and without Him no one thing was made that was made. In Him is Life.” 4
This (H. he says) is “Life,” the ineffable Race of perfect men, which was unknown to former generations.
And the “nothing” 5 which hath been made “without Him,” is the special cosmos; 6 for the latter hath been made without Him by the third and fourth [? Ruler]. 7
J. This 1 (H. he says) is the drinking-vessel—the Cup in which “the King drinketh and divineth.” 2
This (H. he says) was found hidden in the “fair seed” of Benjamin.
(18) S. The Greeks also speak of it (H. he says) with inspired tongue, as follows:
“Bring water, bring [me] wine, boy!
Give me to drink, and sink me in slumber! 3
My Cup tells me of what race I must be born,
[Speaking with silence unspeaking].” 4
C. This (H. he says) would be sufficient alone if men would understand—the Cup of Anacreon speaking forth speechlessly the Ineffable Mystery.
J. For (H. he says) Anacreons Cup is speechless—in as much as it tells him (says Anacreon) with speechless sound of what Race he must be born—
C. —that is, spiritual, not carnal—
J. —if he hear the Hidden Mystery in Silence.
C. And this is the Water at those Fair Nuptials which Jesus turned and made Wine.
“This (H. he says) is the great and true beginning of the signs which Jesus wrought in Cana of Galilee, and made manifest His Kingship [or Kingdom] of the Heavens.” 5
This (H. he says) is the Kingship [or Kingdom] of the Heavens within us, 6 stored up as a Treasure, 7 as “Leaven hid in three measures of Flour.” 8
(19 1) S. This is (H. he says) the Great Ineffable Mystery of the Samothracians,—
C. —which it is lawful for the perfect alone to know—[that is] (H. he says) for us.
J. For the Samothracians, in the Mysteries which are solemnised among them, explicitly hand on the tradition that this Adam is the Man Original.
S. Moreover, 2 in the initiation temple of the Samothracians stand two statues of naked men, with both hands raised to heaven and ithyphallic, like the statue of Hermes in Cyllene. 3
J. The statues aforesaid are images of the Man Original. 4
C. And [also] of the regenerated 5 spiritual [man], in all things of like substance with that Man.
This (H. he says) is what was spoken by the Saviour:
“If ye do not drink My Blood and eat My Flesh, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens. 6
“But even if ye drink (H. he says) the Cup which I drink, 7 where I go, there ye cannot come.” 8
For He knew (H. he says) of which nature each of His disciples is, and that it needs must be that each of them should go to his own nature.
For from the twelve tribes (H. he says) He chose twelve disciples, and through them He spake to every tribe. 1
On this account (H. he says) all have not heard the preachings of the twelve disciples; and even if they hear, they cannot receive them. For the [preachings] which are not according to their nature are contrary to it.
(20) S. This [Man] (H. he says) the Thracians who dwell round Haimos call Korybas, 2 and the Phrygians in like manner with the Thracians; for taking the source of His descent from the Head Above 3—
J. —and from the expressive Brain 4—
S. —and passing through all the sources of all things beneath—how and in what manner He descends we do not understand.
J. This is (H. he says) what was spoken:
“His Voice we heard, but His Form we have not seen.” 5
For (H. he says) the Voice of Him, when He hath been delegated and expressed, is heard, but the Form that descended from Above, from the Inexpressible [Man]—what it is, no one knows. It is in the earthy plasm, but no one has knowledge of it.
This [Man] (H. he says) is He who “inhabiteth the
[paragraph continues] Flood,” 1 according to the Psalter, who cries and calls from “many waters.” 2
The “many waters” (H. he says) are the manifold genesis of men subject to death, from which He shouts and calls to the Inexpressible Man, saying:
“Save my [? Thy] alone-begotten from the lions.” 3
To this [Man] (H. he says) it hath been spoken:
“Thou art my Son, O Israel, 4 fear not; shouldst thou pass through rivers, they shall not engulph thee; shouldst thou pass through fire, it shall not consume thee.” 5
By “rivers” (H. he says) he 6 means the Moist Essence of Genesis, and by “fire” the impulse and desire towards Genesis.
And: “Thou art mine; fear not.” 7
And again he 8 says:
“If a mother forget her children so as not to take pity on them or give them suck, [then] I too will forget you” 9—saith Adamas (H. he says) to his own men.
“Nay, even if a woman shall forget them, I will not forget you. Upon my hands have I graven you.” 10
And concerning His Ascent—
C. —that is, his regeneration in order that he may be born spiritual, not fleshly.
J. —the Scripture saith (H. he says):
“Lift up the gates, ye who are rulers of you, and be
ye lift up ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall come in.” 1
This is a wonder of wonders.
“For who (H. he says) is this King of Glory? 2 A worm 3 and no man, the scorn of men, and the contempt of the people. 4 He is the King of Glory, the Mighty in War.” 5
By “War” he 6 means the “[war] in the body,” for the plasm is compounded of warring elements, as it is written (H. he says):
“Remember the war that is [warred] in the body.” 7
This (H. he says) is the Entrance, and this is the Gate, which Jacob saw, when he journeyed into Mesopotamia. 8
C. Which is the passing from childhood to puberty and manhood; that is, it was made known to him who journeyed into Mesopotamia.
J. And Meso-potamia (H. he says) is the Stream of Great Ocean flowing from the middle of the Perfect Man.
And he 9 marvelled at the Heavenly Gate, saying:
“How terrible [is] this place! This is naught else than the House of God; yea, this [is] the Gate of Heaven.” 10
C. On this account (H. he says) Jesus saith:
“I am the True Door.” 11
J. And he 12 who says these things is (H. he says)
the [one] from the Inexpressible Man, expressed from Above—
C. —as the perfect man. The not-perfect man, therefore, cannot be saved unless he be regenerated passing through this Gate.
(21) S. This same [Man] (H. he says) the Phrygians call also Papa; 1 for He calmed 2 all things which, prior to His own manifestation, were in disorderly and inharmonious movement.
For the name Papa (H. he says) is [the] Sound-of-all-things-together in Heaven, and on Earth, and beneath the Earth, saying: “Calm, calm” 3 the discord of the cosmos.
C. And: Make “peace for them that are far”—that is, the material and earthy—“and peace for them that are near” 4—that is, the spiritual and knowing and perfect men.
(22) S. The Phrygians call Him also Dead—when buried in the body as though in a tomb or sepulchre.
C. This (H. he says) is what is said:
“Ye are whited sepulchres, filled (H. he says) within with bones of the dead, 5 for Man, the Living [One] 6 is not in you.”
And again He says:
“The dead shall leap forth from their graves” 7—
—that is, from their earthy bodies, regenerated spiritual, not fleshly.
This (H. he says) is the Resurrection which takes place
through the Gate of the Heavens, through which all those who do not pass (H. he says) remain Dead.
S. The same Phrygians again call this very same [Man], after the transformation, God [or a God]. 1
C. For he becomes (H. he says) God when, rising from the Dead, through such a Gate, he shall pass into Heaven.
This is the Gate (H. he says) which Paul, the Apostle, knew, setting it ajar in a mystery, and saying that he was caught up by an angel and came to the second, nay the third heaven, into Paradise itself, and saw what he saw, and heard ineffable words, which it is not lawful for man to utter. 2
These (H. he says) are the Mysteries, ineffable [yet] spoken of by all,—
“—which [also we speak, yet] not in words taught of human wisdom, but in [words] taught of Spirit, comparing things spiritual with spiritual things. But the psychic man receiveth not the things of Gods Spirit, for they are foolishness unto him.” 3
And these (H. he says) are the Ineffable Mysteries of the Spirit which we alone know.
Concerning these (H. he says) the Saviour said:
“No one is able to come to Me, unless my Heavenly Father draw him.” 4
For it is exceedingly difficult (H. he says) to receive and accept this Great Ineffable Mystery.
And again (H. he says) the Saviour said:
“Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord! shall enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens, but he who doeth the Will of My Father who is in the Heavens” 5—
—which [Will] they must do, and not hear only, to enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens.
And again He said (H. he says):
“The tax-gatherers and harlots go before you into the Kingdom of the Heavens.” 1
For by “tax-gatherers” (τελῶναι) are meant (H. he says) those who receive the consummations 2 (τέλη) of the universal [principles]; and we (H. he says) are the “tax-gatherers” 3 [upon whom the consummations of the æons have come” 4].
For the “consummations” (H. he says) are the Seeds disseminated into the cosmos from the Inexpressible [Man], by means of which the whole cosmos is consummated; for by means of these also it began to be.
And this (H. he says) is what is said:
“The Sower went forth to sow. And some [Seeds] fell by the way-side, and were trodden under foot; and others on stony places, and they sprang up (H. he says), but because they had no depth, they withered and died.
“Others (H. he says) fell on the fair and good ground, and brought forth fruit—one a hundred, another sixty, and another thirty.
“He who hath (H. he says) ears to hear, let him hear!” 5
That is (H. he says), no one has been a hearer of these Mysteries, save only the gnostic, perfect [man].
This (H. he says) is the “fair and good ground” of which Moses saith:
“I will bring you into a fair and good land, into a land flowing with milk and honey.” 6
This (H. he says) is the “honey and milk” by tasting which the perfect [men] become free from all rule, 7 and share in the Fullness.
This (H. he says) is the Fullness whereby all things that are generated both are and are full-filled from the Ingenerable [Man].
(23) S. This same [Man] is called by the Phrygians Unfruitful.
C. For He is unfruitful as long as He is fleshly and works the work of the flesh.
This (H. he says) is what is said:
“Every tree that beareth not good fruit, is cut down and cast into the fire.” 1
For these “fruits” (H. he says) are the logic, 2 living men only who pass through the third Gate. 3
J. At anyrate they 4 say:
“If ye have eaten dead things and made living ones, what will ye make if ye eat living things?” 5
And by “living things” they mean logoi and minds and men—the “pearls” of that Inexpressible [Man] cast into the plasm below. 6
C. This is what He saith (H. he says):
“Cast not the holy thing to the dogs nor the pearls to the swine.” 7
H. For they say that the work of swine is the intercourse of man with woman.
(24 8) S. This same [Man] (H. he says) the Phrygians also call Ai-polos; 9 not because (H. he says) He feeds
she-goats and he-goats, as the (C.—psychics 1) interpret the name, but because (H. he says) He is Aei-polos—that is, “Always-turning” (Aei-polōn), 2 revolving and driving round the whole cosmos in [its] revolution; for polein is to “turn” and change things.
Hence (H. he says) all call the two centres 3 of heaven poles. And the poet also (H. he says) when he says: “Hither there comes and there goes (pōleitai) Old Man of the Sea, whose words are eer true—Egypts undying Prōteus.” 4
[By pōleitai] he does not mean “he is put on sale,” 1 but “he turns about” [or comes and goes] there,—as though it were, [he spins] and goes round.
And the cities in which we live, in that we turn about and circulate in them, are called poleis.
Thus (H. he says) the Phrygians call Aipolos this [Man] who turns all things at all times all ways, and changes them into things kin.
(25) The Phrygians, moreover (H. he says), call Him Fruitful.
J. For (H. he says):
“Many more are the children of the desolate [woman] than of her who hath her husband.” 2
C. That is, the regenerated, deathless, and ever-continuing [children] are many, although few are they [thus] generated; but the fleshly (H. he says) all perish, though many are they [thus] generated.
C. For this cause (H. he says):
“Rachel bewailed her children, and would not (H. he says) be comforted weeping over them; for she knew (H. he says) that they are not.” 1
J. And Jeremiah also laments the Jerusalem Below—not the city in Phœnicia, 2 but the generation below—which is subject to destruction.
C. For Jeremiah also (H. he says) knew the perfect man, regenerated from water and spirit, not fleshly.
J. At anyrate the same Jeremiah said:
“He is man, and who shall know him?” 3
C. Thus (H. he says) the knowledge of the perfect man is deep and hard to comprehend.
J. For “The beginning of Perfection (H. he says) is Gnosis of man, but Gnosis of God is perfect Perfection.” 4
(26) S. And the Phrygians (H. he says) call Him also “Plucked Green Wheat-ear”; and after the Phrygians the Athenians [so designate Him], when, in the secret rites at Eleusis, they show those who receive in silence the final initiation there into the Great—
C. —and marvellous and most perfect—
S. —Epoptic Mystery, a plucked wheat-ear. 5
And this Wheat-ear is also with the Athenians the Light-giver 1—
C. —perfect [and] mighty—
J. —from the Inexpressible—
S. —as the hierophant himself—not emasculated like the “Attis,” 2 but made eunuch with hemlock juice—
C. —and divorced from all fleshly generation—
S. —in the night, at Eleusis, solemnising the Great Ineffable Mysteries, when the bright light streams forth, 3 shouts and cries aloud, saying:
“[Our] Lady hath brought forth a Holy Son: Brimō [hath given birth] to Brimos”—
—that is, the Strong to the Strong.
(27) J. And “[Our] Lady” (H. he says) is the Genesis—
C. —the Spiritual, Heavenly [Genesis]—
J. —Above. And the Strong is he who is thus generated.
For it is the Mystery called “Eleusis” and “Anaktoreion”;—“Eleusis,” because we—
C. —the spiritual—
J. —come 2 from Above, streaming down from Adamas, for eleus-esthai (H. he says) is “to come”; and “Anaktoreion” [from anag-esthai, “leading back,” that is 3] from “returning” 4 Above. 5
This [Return] (H. he says) is that of which those who are initiated into the great Mysteries of the Eleusinia speak.
(28) S. And the law is that after they have been initiated into the Little Mysteries, they should be further initiated into the Great.
“For greater deaths do greater lots obtain.” 6
The Little (H. he says) are the Mysteries of
[paragraph continues] Persephonē Below; concerning which Mysteries and the way leading there and—
C. —being broad and wide,—
—taking [men] to Persephonē, the poet also speaks:
“Beneath this there is another path death-cold,
Hollow and clayey. But this 1 is best to lead
To grove delightsome of far-honoured Aphroditē.” 2
These 3 are (H. he says) the Little Mysteries—
C. —those of the fleshly generation—
S. —and after men have been initiated into them, they should cease for a little, and become initiated in the Great—
C. —heavenly [Mysteries].
S. For they to whom the “deaths” in them 4 are appointed, “receive greater lots.”
J. For this [Mystery] (H. he says) is the Gate of Heaven, and this is the House of God, where the Good God dwells alone; into which [House] (H. he says) no impure [man] shall come—
C. —no psychic, no fleshly [man]—
J. —but it is kept under watch for the spiritual alone; where when they come, they must cast away their garments, and all become bridegrooms, obtaining their true manhood 5 through the Virginal Spirit.
For this (H. he says) is the Virgin big with child, conceiving and bearing a Son 1—
C. —not psychic, not fleshly, but a blessed Æon of Æons. 2
Concerning these [Mysteries] (H. he says) the Saviour hath explicitly said that:
“Narrow and strait is the Way that leadeth to Life, and few are they who enter it; but broad and wide [is] the Way that leadeth to Destruction, and many are they who journey thereby.” 3
S. 4 Moreover, also, the Phrygians say that the Father of wholes 5 is Amygdalos 6—
J. —no [ordinary] tree 7 (H. he says); but that He is that Amygdalos the Pre-existing, who having in Himself the Perfect Fruit, as it were, throbbing 8 and moving in [His] Depth, He tore asunder 9 His Womb, and gave birth to His own Son 10—
C. —the Invisible, Unnameable, and Ineffable [One] of whom we tell. 1
S. For “amyxai” 2 is, as it were, “to break” and “cut open”; just as (H. he says) in the case of inflamed bodies and those which have some internal tumour, when physicians lance them, they speak of “amychas.” 3
Thus (H. he says) the Phrygians call him Amygdalos.
C. From whom proceeded and was born the Invisible—
“Through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made.” 4
(30) S. The Phrygians also say that that which is generated from Him is Syriktēs. 5
J. For that which is generated is Spirit in harmony. 6
C. For “God (H. he says) is Spirit.” 7
Wherefore He says:
“Neither in this mountain do the true worshippers worship, nor in Jerusalem, but in Spirit.” 8
For the worship of the perfect [men] (H. he says) is spiritual, not fleshly.
J. And “Spirit” (H. he says) is there where both Father and Son are named, generated there from Him 1 and the Father.
S. He 2 (H. he says) is the Many-named, Myriad-eyed, Incomprehensible, whom every nature desires, some one way, some another.
J. This (H. he says) is the Word 3 of God, which is:
“The Word of Announcement of the Great Power. Wherefore It shall be sealed, and hidden, and concealed, stored in the Habitation, where the Root of the Universals has its foundation—
“Of Æons, Powers, Intelligences, Gods, Angels, Spirits Delegate, Existing Non-existences, Generated Ingenerables, Comprehensible Incomprehensibles,—Years, Months, Days, Hours,—of [the] Boundless Point, from which the most minute begins to increase by parts. 4
“For (H. he says) the Point which is nothing and is composed of nothing, though partless, will become by
means of its own Thought a Greatness 1 beyond our own comprehension.”
C. This [Point] (H. he says) is the Kingdom of the Heavens, the “grain of mustard seed,” 2 the partless point, the first existing for the body; which no one (H. he says) knows save the spiritual [men] alone.
J. This (H. he says) is what is said:
“They are neither words nor languages whereby their 3 sounds are heard.” 4
H. These things, [then,] which are said and done by all men, they thus interpret off-hand to their peculiar theory (νοῦν), pretending that they are all done with a spiritual meaning.
For which cause also they 5 say that the performers in the theatres—they, too, neither say nor do anything without Design. 6
S. For example (H. he says), when the people assemble in the theatres, and a man comes on the stage, clad in a robe different from all others, with lute 7 in hand on which he plays, and thus chants the Great Mysteries, not knowing what he says: 8
“Whether blest Child of Kronos,
or of Zeus, or of Great Rhea,—
Hail, Attis, thou mournful song 9 of Rhea!
Assyrians call thee thrice-longed-for Adōnis;
all Egypt [calls thee] Osiris;
the Wisdom of Hellas [names thee] Mēns Heavenly Horn;
the Samothracians [call thee] august Adama;
the Hæmonians, Korybas;
the Phrygians [name thee] Papa sometimes,
at times again Dead, or God, 1 or Unfruitful,
or Aipolos, or Green Reaped 2 Wheat-ear,
or the Fruitful that Amygdalos brought forth,
Man, Piper . . . Attis!”
H. He [S.] says that this is the Attis of many forms of whom they [NN., in H.s opinion] sing as follows:
S. “Of Attis will I sing, of Rheas [Belovèd];—
not with the boomings 3 of bells,
nor with the deep-toned 4 pipe of Idæan Kurētes;
but I will blend my song with Phoebus music of the lyre.
Evoï! Evan!—for [thou art] Pan, [thou] Bacchus [art],
and Shepherd of bright stars!”
H. For these and suchlike reasons these [Naassenes] frequent what are called the Mysteries of the Great Mother, believing that they obtain the clearest view of the Universal Mystery from the things done in them.
For they have nothing beyond the [mysteries] therein enacted except that they are not emasculated. Their sole “accomplishment,” [however,] is the business of the Eunuch, for they most severely and vigilantly enjoin to abstain, as though emasculated, from intercourse with women. And the rest of their business, as we have stated at length, they carry out just like the Eunuchs.
And they honour nothing else but “Naas,” 1 being called Naasseni. And Naas is the Serpent—
J. 2—from whom (H. he says) are all those [things] called naous 3 under heaven, from naas.
To that Naas alone every shrine and every rite of initiation and every mystery (H. he says) is dedicated; and, in general, no initiation can be found under heaven in which a naos does not play a part, and [also] the Naas in it, from which it has got the name of naos.
(H. Moreover, they say that) the Serpent is the Moist Essence—
H. —just as [did] also Thales the Milesian 4—
J. —and (H. that) naught at all of existing things, immortal or mortal, animate or inanimate, can hold together without Him.
[And they say] (H. that) all things are subject to Him, and (H. that) He is Good, and has all things in Him as in “the horn of the one-horned bull”; 5 so that He distributes beauty and bloom to all that exist according to each ones nature and peculiarity, as though permeating all, just as [the River] “proceeding forth out of Eden and dividing itself into four sources.” 6
H. And they say that Eden is His Brain, as though it were bound and constricted in its surrounding vestures like heavens; while Paradise they consider to be the Man as far as His Head only.
This River, then, coming forth out of Eden (H. that is, from His Brain), is divided into four streams.
And the name of the first river is called Pheisōn. “This is that which encircles all the land of Evilat, there where is the gold, and the gold of that land is fair; there too is the ruby and the green stone.” 1
This (H. he says) is His Eye—by its dignity and colours bearing witness to what is said.
The name of the second river is Geōn. “This is that which encircles all the land of Æthiopia.” 2
This (H. he says) is [His organ of] Hearing; for it is labyrinth-like.
And the name of the third is Tigris. “This is that which flows the opposite way to the Assyrians.” 3
This (H. he says) is [His organ of] Smell, for the current of it is very rapid; and it “flows the opposite way to the Assyrians,” because after the breath is breathed out, on breathing in again, the breath that is drawn in from without, from the air, comes in more rapidly, and with greater force. For this (H. he says) is the nature of respiration.
“And the fourth river [is] Euphratēs.” 4
This (H. they say) [is] the mouth, through which by the utterance of prayer and entrance of food, the (? C.—spiritual, perfect) man is rejoiced, and nourished and expressed. 5
This [River] (H. he says) is the Water above the Firmament. 6
C. Concerning which (H. he says) the Saviour hath said:
“If thou hadst known Who it is Who asketh, thou wouldst have asked from Him [in return], and He would have given thee to drink of Living Water bubbling [forth].” 7
J. To this Water (H. he says) every nature comes, each selecting its own essence, and from this Water there comes to each nature what is proper [to it] (H. he says), more surely than iron to magnet, 1 and gold to the bone 2 of the sea-hawk, and chaff to amber.
C. And if any man (H. he says) is “blind from birth,” 3 and hath not seen “the True Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” 4—let him see again through us, and let him see as it were through—
J. 5 —Paradise, planted with Trees and all kinds of seeds, the Water flowing amid all the Trees and Seeds, and [then] shall he see that from one and the same Water the Olive selects and draws Oil, and the Vine Wine, and each of the rest of the Trees according to its kind.
But (H. he says) that Man is of no honour in the World, though of great honour [in Heaven, betrayed] 1 by those who know not to those who know Him not, being accounted “as a drop from a cask.” 2
But we (H. he says)—
C. —are the spiritual [men] who—
J. —choose for ourselves from—
C. —the Living Water—
J. —the Euphrates, that flows through the midst of Babylon, what is proper [to each of us]—journeying through the True Gate—
C. —which is Jesus the Blessed.
And of all men we alone are Christians, 3 accomplishing the Mystery at the third Gate—
J. —and being anointed with the Ineffable Chrism from the Horn, 4 like David [was], not from the flask 5 of clay, like Saul—
C. —who was fellow-citizen with an evil dæmon of fleshly desire.
H. These things, then, we have set down as a few out of many. For innumerable are the attempts of their folly, silly and crazy. But since we have, to the best of our ability, exposed their unknowable Gnosis, it seems best to set down the following also.
This is a Psalm which they have improvised; by means of which they fancy they thus sing the praises of all the mysteries of their Error. 6
J. 1 “First [was there] Mind the Generative 2 Law of All; 3
Second to the Firstborn was Liquid Chaos;
Third Soul through toil received the Law.
Wherefore, with a deers 4 form surrounding her,
She labours at her task beneath Deaths rule.
Now, holding sway, 5 she sees the Light;
And now, cast into piteous plight, she weeps;
Now she weeps, and now rejoices;
Now she weeps, and now is judged;
Now is judged, and now she dieth;
Now is born, with no way out for her; in misery
She enters in her wandering the labyrinth of ills.
(? C.—And Jesus 6 said): O Father, see!
[Behold] the struggle still of ills on earth!
Far from Thy Breath 1 away she 2 wanders!
She seeks to flee the bitter Chaos, 3
And knows not how she shall pass through.
Wherefore, send me, O Father!
Seals in my hands, I will descend;
Through Æons universal will I make a Path;
Through Mysteries all Ill open up a Way!
And Forms of Gods will I display; 4
The secrets of the Holy Path I will hand on,
And call them Gnosis.” 5
All this may have seemed, quite naturally, contemptible foolishness to the theological prejudices of our worthy Church Father; but it is difficult for me, even in the twentieth century, not to recognise the beauty of this fine Mystic Hymn, and I hope it may be equally difficult for at least some of my readers.
But to return to the consideration of our much overwritten Source.
This Source is plainly a commentary, or elaborate paraphrase, of the Recitation Ode, “Whether, blest Child of Kronos,” which comes at the end (§ 30) and not, as we should expect, at the beginning, and has probably been displaced by Hippolytus. It is an exegetical
commentary written from the standpoint of the Anthrōpos-theory of the Mysteries (? originally Chaldæan), the Man-doctrine.
This commentary seems for the most part to run on so connectedly, that we can almost persuade ourselves that we have most of it before us, the lacunæ being practically insignificant. Paragraphs 6 and 7 S., however, are plainly misplaced, and §§ 17 and 18 S. also as evidently break the connection. 1
The writer is transparently a man learned in the various Mystery-rites, and his information is of the greatest possible importance for a study of this exceedingly obscure subject from an historical standpoint.
With § 8 S., and the Egyptian Mystery-doctrine, we come to what is of peculiar interest for our present Trismegistic studies. Osiris is the Heavenly Man, the Logos; not only so, but in straitest connection with this tradition we have an exposition of the Hermes-doctrine, set forth by a system of allegorical interpretations of the Bible of Hellas—the Poems of the Homeric cycle. Here we have the evident syncrasia Thoth = Osiris = Hermes, a Hermes of the “Greek Wisdom,” as the Recitation Ode phrases it, and a doctrine which H., basing himself on the commentator (§ 10), squarely asserts the Greeks got from Egypt.
Nor is it without importance for us that in closest connection with Hermes there follow the apparently misplaced sections 17 and 18, dealing with the “Heavenly Horn,” or drinking-horn, of the Greek Wisdom, and the “Cup” of Anacreon; with which we may compare the Crater, Mixing-bowl or Cup, in which,
according to Platos Timæus, the Creator mingled and mixed the elements and souls, and also the spiritual Cup of the Mind in our Trismegistic treatise, “The Crater or Monas,” C. H., iv. (v.).
But above all things is it astonishing that we should find the commentator in S. quoting (§ 9) a logos from a document which, as we have shown in the note appended to the passage, is in every probability a Trismegistic treatise of the Pœmandres type.
This commentary S. was worked over by a Jewish Hellenistic mystic J., whose general ideas and method of exegesis are exactly paralleled by those of Philo. In my opinion, he was a contemporary of that period and a member of one of those communities whom Philo classes generally as Therapeut. He was, moreover, not a worshipper of the serpent, but a worshipper of that Glorious Reality symbolised as the Serpent of Wisdom, and this connects him with initiation into Egypto-Chaldæan or Chaldæo-Egyptian Mysteries. These he finds set forth allegorically in the prophetical scriptures of his race. His quotations from the LXX. show him to be, like Philo, an Alexandrian Hellenistic Jew; the LXX. was his Targum.
J. again was overwritten by C., a Christian Gnostic, no enemy of either J. or S., but one who claimed that he and his were the true realisers of all that had gone before; he is somewhat boastful, but yet recognises that the Christ-doctrine is not an innovation but a consummation. The phenomena presented by the New Testament quotations of C. are, in my opinion, of extraordinary interest, especially his quotations from or parallels with the Fourth Gospel. His quotations from
or parallels with the Synoptics are almost of the same nature as those of Justin; he is rather dealing with “Memoirs of the Apostles” than with verbatim quotations from our stereotyped Gospels. His parallels with the Fourth Gospel also seem to me to open up the question as to whether or no he is in touch with “Sources” of that “Johannine” document.
On top of all our strata and deposits, we have—to continue the metaphor of excavation, and if it be not thought somewhat uncharitable—the refutatory rubbish of Hippolytus, which need no longer detain us here.
I would, therefore, suggest that C. is to be placed somewhere about the middle of the second century A.D.; J. is contemporary with Philo—say the first quarter of the first century A.D.; the Pagan commentator of S. is prior to J.—say somewhere in the last half of the first century B.C.; while the Recitation Ode is still earlier, and can therefore be placed anywhere in the early Hellenistic period, the termini being thus 300-50 B.C. 1
And if the redactor or commentator in S. is to be placed somewhere in the last half of the first century B.C. (and this is, of course, taking only the minimum of liberty), then the Pœmandres type of our literature, which J. quotes as scripture, must, in its original Greek form, be placed back of that—say at least in the first half of the first century B.C., as a moderate estimate. 2 If those dates are not proved,
[paragraph continues] I am at anyrate fairly confident they cannot be disproved.
That, moreover, the Anthrōpos-doctrine, to the spirit of which the whole commentary of our S. exegete is accommodated, was also fundamental with the adherents of the Trismegistic tradition, may be clearly seen from the interesting passage (which we give in the Fragments at the end of the third Volume) of Zosimus, a member of what Reitzenstein calls the Pœmandres Community, who flourished somewhere at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth century A.D. 1
The sources of Zosimus for the Anthrōpos-doctrine, he tells us, are, in addition to the Books of Hermes, certain translations into Greek and Egyptian of books containing traditions (mystery-traditions, presumably) of the Chaldæans, Parthians, Medes, and Hebrews on the subject. This statement is of the very first importance for the history of Gnosticism as well as for appreciating certain elements in Trismegisticism. Though the indication of this literature is vague, it nevertheless mentions four factors as involved in the Hebrew tradition; the Gnostic Hebrews, as we should
expect, were handing on elements from Chaldæan, Parthian, and Median traditions. Translations of these books were to be found scattered throughout Egypt, and especially in the great library at Alexandria.
There is, in my opinion, no necessity precisely, with Reitzenstein (p. 106, n. 6), to designate these books the “Ptolemaic Books,” and so to associate them with a notice found in the apocryphal “Eighth Book of Moses,” where, together with that of the Archangelic Book of Moses, there is mention of the Fifth Book of the “Ptolemaic Books,” described as a book of multifarious wisdom under the title “One and All,” and containing the account of the “Genesis of Fire and Darkness.” 1
Another source of Zosimus was the Pinax of Bitos or Bitys, of whom we shall treat in considering the information of Jamblichus.
From all of these indications we are assured that there was already in the first centuries B.C. a well-developed Hellenistic doctrine of the descent of man from the Man Above, and of his return to that heavenly state by his mastery of the powers of the cosmos.
This date is further confirmed by the testimony of Philo (c. 30 B.C.-45 A.D.).
For, quoting the verse: “We are all sons of One Man,” 2 he addresses those who are “companions of wisdom and knowledge” as those who are “Sons of one and the same Father—no mortal father, but an immortal Sire, the Man of God, who being the Reason (Logos) of the Eternal, is of necessity himself eternal.” 3
And again, a little further on:
“And if a man should not as yet have the good fortune to be worthy to be called Son of God, let him strive manfully to set himself in order 1 according to His First-born Reason (Logos), the Oldest Angel, who is as though it were the Angel-chief of many names; for he is called Dominion, and Name of God, and Reason, and Man-after-His-Likeness, and Seeing Israel.
“And for this reason I was induced a little before to praise the principles of those who say: We are all sons of One Man. For even if we have not yet become fit to be judged Sons of God, we may at any rate be Sons of His Eternal Likeness, His Most Holy Reason (Logos); for Reason, the Eldest of all Angels, is Gods Likeness [or Image].” 2
Thus Philo gives us additional proof, if more were needed, for the full Anthrōpos-doctrine was evidently fundamental in his circle—that is to say, in the thought-atmosphere of the Hellenistic theology, or the religio-philosophy, or theosophy, of his day, the beginning of the first century A.D.
This date alone is sufficient for our purpose; but it is not too bold a statement even to say that the Man-Mystery was a fundamental concept of the brilliant period of the Hellenistic syncretism which succeeded to the founding of Alexandria—the period of the expansion of Hellas beyond her national borders; in other words, her birth into the greater world.
It is enough to know that the Mystery was hidden and yet revealed in the shadow-garments of Chaldæan, Babylonian, Magian, Phœnician, Hebrew, Egyptian, Phrygian, Thracian, and Greek mystery-traditions. It was, in brief, fundamental in all such wisdom-shows, and necessarily so, for it was the Christ-Mystery.
139:1 C. H., i, 12.
139:2 Contra Om. Hær., I. xxx.; ed. A. Stieren (Leipzig, 1853), i. 263 ff.
139:3 Hær. Fab., I. xiv.
140:1 F. F. F., pp. 188 ff.
142:1 Both ḥ and ch being transliteration devices for the same Hebrew letter ח in the word נחש.
142:2 We know of the two titles, The Greater and The Lesser Questions of Mary; the general title is thought by some to be the proper designation of one of the sources of the composite document known as Pistis Sophia, and has been suggested as its more appropriate general epigraph.
143:1 Philos., v. 1-11, of which I published a preliminary translation, under the heading “Selections from the Philosophumena,” in The Theosophical Review (August and September 1893), xii. 559-569, xiii. 42-52, and a summary in F. F. F., pp. 198-206.
143:2 Ed. L. Duncker and F. G. Schneidewin (Göttingen, 1859); and ed. P. Cruice (Paris, 1860).
144:1 The date of the writing of the Philosophumena is placed somewhere about 222 A.D.
146:1 S. 132, 1—134, 80; C. 139, 1—141, 2.
146:2 The worship of the serpent, according to H.
146:3 Cf. the strange logos, preserved in Matt. x. 16 alone: “Be ye therefore wise as serpents.”
146:4 The reading can be slightly emended by H.s epitome in x. 9; but the phrase παρὰ τὸν αὐτῶν λόγον still remains an enigma.
146:5 The Celestial Adam, the Adam Kadmon of Kabalistic tradition, or the Intelligible Cosmos of Hellenistic theology. See Cruice, note in loc.
146:6 Or hymns of subtle meaning.
146:7 That is, Man as Cause and Substance of all things.
146:8 Sc. Powers.
146:9 That is, presumably, “names of power” (Egyptice); the Adam who gave their “names” to all the “animals.”
147:1 Geryon, the triple-headed or triple-bodied Giant, who plays a prominent part in the myth of Hercules.
147:2 Or spiritual, psychic, and earthy.
147:3 That is, the learning to know.
147:4 Cf. § 25, J.
147:5 That is, as we shall see later, C.
147:7 Celsus (c. 150-175 A.D.) knows of groups of Harpocratians—that is, worshippers of Horus—some of whom derived their tradition from Salōmē, others from Mariamnē, and others again from Martha (Origen, C. Celsum, v. 62). This suggests an Egyptian setting. (For Salome and Maria or Miriam (Mariamnē), the Sisters of Jesus, see D. J. L., 405 f .; for Martha, Our Lady, see ibid., 375 ff.) In the Gnostic Acts of Philip, Mariamnē, or Mariammē (both forms being found in the MSS., according to R. A. Lipsius, Die apokr. Apostelgeschichten—Brunswick, 1884—iii. 12), is the “virgin sister” of Philip, and plays an important rôle as prophetess. She is to Philip as Thekla to Paul, or Helen to Simon. Compare with this the “sister wife” whom Paul demands the right to take about like “the rest of the Apostles and the Brethren of the Lord and Cephas” (1 Corinth. ix. 5; D. J. L., 229). Salmon (art. “Mariamne” in Smith and Waces D. of Christ. Biog., iii. 830) refers to the Mary (Magdalene) of the Pistis Sophia, the chief questioner of the Master and His favourite disciple, the sister of Martha. The tradition of the Gnosis from James, the Brother of the Lord, is asserted by Clement of Alexandria in Book VI. of his lost work, The Institutions, where he writes: “The Lord imparted the Gnosis to James the Just, to John and Peter, after His resurrection; these delivered it to the rest of the Apostles, and they to the Seventy” (Euseb., Hist. Eccles., ii. 1; cf. D. J. L., 226).
148:1 From here onwards we use the revised critical text of Reitzenstein (pp. 83-98), who appends what we may call an apparatus criticus of the emendations and conjectures of the various editions of our solitary MS. R., as usual, however, gives no translation.
148:2 Is. liii. 8—same reading as LXX. Cf. also 25 § J.
148:3 A remark of the writer of S., which, as we shall see at the end, is divided into Texts and Commentary.
148:4 The “he says” may be ascribed to any subsequent hand; I have marked them all H. to avoid further complication.
149:1 “Burstings forth,” inspirations, revealings, or mysteries.
149:2 In Greek transformation, son of Apollo and the daughter of Minos, born in Libya. This points to a very ancient myth-connection with the old Cretan civilisation. Garamas was also called Amphithemis (q.v. in Roschers Lex.); he appears also, according to one tradition, to have been the father of Ammon. (See “Garamantis Nympha,” ibid.)
149:3 This passage is doubly interesting, for it is not only a source, but a source within a source. Already a number of scholars have recognised it as an Ode; and not only so, but conjectured with much probability that it is by no less a master than Pindar himself. Nay, further, it is part of a Hymn to Jupiter Ammon—an additionally interesting point for us as showing strong Egyptian influence. It is true that in our text of Hippolytus the order of the words has been frequently changed to bring it into prose form; but the reconstruction of most of it is not difficult, and quite convincing. I translate from the text of Bergks final revision, as given S. 134, 135; C. 142. R., for some reason or other, does not refer to this interesting side-light.
150:1 Sc. of the Fate-Sphere.
150:2 This looks back, though with variants, to Ephes. iii. 15.
150:3 Sc. the image-man, or Adam of “red” earth.
150:4 Sc. the Chaldæans.
150:6 Sc. the Naassenes.
150:7 This is a further indication of the environment of the Naassenes. Cf. C. H., x. (xi.) 7.
150:8 That is from Man (Father), Man Son of Man (Son), or Flowing Chaos (Mother)—corresponding in Hellenic mythology to Kronos, Zeus, and Rhea. For Rhea (from ρέειν, “to flow”) is the Moist or Liquid Nature, as with the Stoics; she is the a-cosmic or unordered Earth, the Prima Materia (the First Earth, the Spouse of Heaven—Uranus), Hyle Proper, who carries in her bosom the Logos. For references, see R., p. 99, n. 2.
151:1 Cf. Ex. viii. 8.
151:2 The preceding paragraph is evidently composed of selections from S. R. (p. 85, n. 1) thinks that we have here the description of only one aspect of Soul, and that the description of the remaining two aspects has been omitted by H.
151:3 Sc. the Naassenes, in H.s view.
152:1 μορφῆς—lit., either form or beauty.
152:2 Sc. of cosmos.
152:3 This paragraph and § 7, together with the accompanying overworkings, seem to have been misplaced by H., according to R. (pp. 99, 100).
The sudden introduction of the name Attis without any preliminaries, indicates another lacuna; the transition from the Assyrian to the Phrygian Mysteries of the Great Mother is too brusque.
152:4 The threefold nature of the Soul is thus distinguished by: (i.) The union (or marriage) which joins it to generation, or to earth-life—the nature of things on earth; (ii.) The union which joins it with death—the nature of the things “beneath” the earth; (iii.) The union which joins it with formal beauty, or beauty in form (μορφή)—the nature of super-terrene (or sublunary) things, here regarded as the Elysian state.
The love of the Mother of the Gods for the Soul represents the “fourth state” (the turīya of Vedantic mystic psychology), or the absorption of the masculine power of the Soul by its own higher Feminine Nature. Cf. in Damascius “Life of Isidores” (Photius, Bibl., ed. Bekker, 345 a. 5: “I fell asleep, and in a vision Attis seemed to appear to me, and, on behalf of the Mother of the Gods, to initiate me into the feast called Hilaria—a mystery which discloses the way of our salvation from Hades.” Hades, the realm of Selēnē, is not Tartarus, the realm of Death.
153:1 Compare the so-called Second Epistle of Clement (an early homily incorporating extra-canonical Gospel-materials), xii. 2: “For the Lord Himself being asked by some one when his Kingdom should come, said: When the two shall be one, and the outside as the inside, and the male with the female neither male nor female”; and also the well-known logoi, from The Gospel according to the Egyptians, quoted several times by Clement of Alexandria: “When Salome asked how long Death should prevail, the Lord said: So long as ye women bear children; for I am come to destroy the work of the Female. And Salome said to Him: Did I therefore well in bearing no children? The Lord answered and said: Eat every Herb, but eat not that which hath bitterness. When Salome asked when these things about which she questioned should be made known, the Lord said: When ye trample upon the Garment of Shame; when the Two become One, and Male with Female neither male nor female.” And with the last logos of the above compare the new-found fragment of a lost Gospel: “His disciples say unto Him: When wilt thou be manifest to us, and when shall we see Thee? He saith: When ye shall be stripped and not be ashamed.”—Grenfell and Hunt, New Sayings of Jesus (London, 1904), p. 40. The environment is Egyptian and ascetic; it is a saying addressed to a community, as may be seen from one of the previous logoi: “Having one garment what do ye [lack]?”
153:2 See Rom. i. 20-23, 25-27.
153:4 ἀΐδιος—evidently a word-play.
153:5 The received Pauline text is slightly shortened here.
154:1 Evidently a reference to the Chaldæan fourfold (man-eagle-lion-bull) glyph of what Later Orphicism and Platonism called the Autozōon, representing the four main types of Animal Life; the same mystery which Ezekiel saw in the Vision of the Mercabah, or Celestial Chariot—a reflected picture, I believe, from the Chaldæan Mysteries.
154:2 Verses 24 and 25 of the Received Text are omitted.
154:3 ἀσχημοσύνη—meaning also “formlessness.”
154:4 Cf. Ex. v. 2.
154:5 That is, baptism.
154:6 We wonder what “they” really did say? They may have argued in their private circles that even in the foulest things the clean soul could recognise the reversed signs of the Mysteries of Purity; for certainly these things require an explanation—nay, more urgently do they require an interpretation in proportion to their foulness. The hateful suggestion of Hippolytus that these ascetic and spiritually-minded folk—for their doctrines plainly show them to be so—were as foul as those of the Flood, only shows the ineradicable prejudice of unwitting self-righteousness.
155:1 Completion of R.
155:2 Picking up “Blessed Nature” from the first paragraph of 6.
155:3 Cf. Ex. viii. 6, note.
155:4 At fourteen a boy took his first initiation into the Egyptian priesthood.
155:5 Cf. Littré, Traduct. des Œuvres dHippocrate, tom. i. p. 396.
155:6 Presumably referring to Seed.
155:7 Perhaps, however, they meant something very different, and perhaps even their analogies are not so foolish as they seemed to H.
155:8 The material here seems to follow directly on § 5. It is a summary by H.; but seeing that there is more in it of S. than of H., we will print it as S., indicating H. when possible.
156:1 Isis, or Nature, as the seven spheres and the eighth sphere (? the “black” earth).
156:2 That is the Celestial Nile or Heaven-Ocean, which fructifies Mother Nature. “The Alexandrians honoured the same God as being both Osiris and Adonis, according to their mystical god-blending (syncrasia).” Damascius, “Life of Isidorus” (Phot., Bibl., 242; p. 342 a. 21, ed. Bek.).
156:3 Sc. the Egyptians.
156:4 Prov. xxiv. 16—same reading as LXX. Cf. Luke xvii. 4.: “If he trespass against thee seven times in a day and turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive.” This saying is apparently from the “Logia” source; cf. Matt, xviii. 21, and compare the idea with the scheme of the “repentance” of the Pistis Sophia.
156:5 The seven planetary spheres; but it may also connect with the idea of the falling “stars” as the souls descending into matter, according to the Platonic and Hermetic doctrine.
156:6 Probably the Egyptians in their Mysteries, connecting with what is summarised by H. at end of § 6 and beginning of § 7.
157:1 Evidently a logos from some Hellenistic scripture. In the evidence of Zosimus which we adduce at the end of our Trismegistic Fragments, he quotes (§§ 15 and 7) from the “Inner Door”—a lost treatise of Hermes Trismegistus—as follows: “For that the Son of God having power in all things, becoming all things that He willeth, appeareth as He willeth to each.” Thus we have S. quoting the original logos, which, I suggest, belongs to the “Pœmandres” type of Trismegistic literature. Therefore that type was in existence before S. This confirms our attribution of the “they declare” to the Egyptians and their Mysteries (Trismegisticism being principally the Hellenised form of those Mysteries), and also the completion of R. at the end of the first paragraph of § 7 above.
157:2 Cf. Matt. xix. 17 = Mark x. 18 = Luke xviii. 19. The first clause agrees with Mark and Luke, the second with Matthew (omitting “the” before “Good”). The presumably primitive reading of the positive command, “Call me not Good,” has disappeared entirely from this phase of tradition.
157:3 A different form from Matt. v. 45, but the same idea; for the other tradition, see Luke vi. 35.
158:1 Cf. Matt v. 15 = Mark iv. 21 = Luke viii. 16 and xi. 33.
158:2 Cf. Matt. x. 27 = Luke xii. 3.
158:3 That is, symbolically distinguished statues of Hermes.
158:4 The text is faulty; but compare Pausanias, VI. xxvi. 5, where, speaking of Cyllene, he says: “The image of Hermes which the people of the place revere exceedingly, is nothing but an ithyphallus on a pedestal.” This famous symbolic figure at Cyllene is mentioned also by Artemidorus, Oneirocr., i. 45; and by Lucian, Jupiter Tragædus, 42. Cf. J. G. Frazers Pausanias (London, 1898), iv. 110.
159:1 Psychagogue and psychopomp—or leader and evoker of souls—apparently here meaning him who takes souls out of body and brings them back again to it.
159:2 μνηστήρων—lit., meaning “recalling to mind”; and also “suitors.” Cf. Od., xxiv. 1 ff.
159:3 Empedocles, On Purifications (Diels, 119; Stein, 390; Karsten, 11; Fairbanks, First Philosophers of Greece, 206); Empedocles continues: “ . . . have I fallen here on the earth to consort with mortals!”
159:4 The Naassenes, in H.s opinion.
159:5 The souls.
159:6 Some editors think this is a mistake for Ialdabaōth. The name, however, appears in the system of Justinus (Hipp., Philos., v. 26) as Esaddaios, evidently the transliteration of El Shaddai, as one of the twelve Paternal Angels, the Sons of Elohim, the Demiurge of the sensible world, and of Eden, the Maternal Potency or Nature.
159:7 τοῦ ἰδικοῦ κόσμου—the cosmos of species and not of wholes. Cf. § 17 below for the passage of C. from which H. takes this. Compare Ptah-Hephaistos, the Demiurge by Fire, the Fourth, in the Inscription of London given in Chap. VI. above.
160:1 Sc. Hermes.
160:2 The continuation of the above quotation—Od., xxiv. 2 ff.
160:3 Cf. C. H., i. 14: “he who hath power over the lives of cosmos.”
160:4 Ps. ii. 9—same reading as LXX.
160:5 Or “get back memory,” or “become suitors.”
160:6 Eph. v. 14—a shortened form of the present Pauline text; Paul himself, however, seems to be quoting from some older writing. If the intermediate reading (ἐπιψαύσει for ἐπιφαύσει) can stand (see W. H., Ap. 125), it would mean “Christ shall touch thee” with His rod.
160:7 Cf. Plutarch, De Is. et Os., xxxiv. After saying that Osiris, or the Logos, is symbolised as Ocean and Water, and that Thales took his idea of Primal “Water, as the cause of things, from the Egyptians, the initiated priest of Apollo and learned comparative mythologist continues: “The Greeks say that son (ὑιόν) comes from water (ὕδατος) and to moisten (ὕσαι), and they call Dionysus Hyes (ὕην) as Lord of the Moist (ὑγρᾶς) Nature, he being the same as Osiris.” Stoll in Roschers Lex. (sub vv.) says that “Hyēs” and “Hyē” were respectively designations of Dionysus and Semele, and that the meaning is the “Moistener” and the “Moistened” (references loc. cit.). The nymphs who reared Bacchus were also called Hyades (Pherecydes, 46; p. 108, ed. Sturz). Hyēs was also a popular epithet of Zeus as god of rain. See also Lobeck, Aglaophamus, 782 and 1045 ff.; Anecd., Bekk., p. 202: Some say that Hyēs = Attis, others that Hyēs = Dionysus; “for Zeus poured (ὕσε) ambrosia upon him.” One of the names of Bacchus was Ambrosia (Pherecy., ibid.; Non., xxi. 20). I would therefore suggest that the mystic cry “Hye Kye” meant “O Moistener beget!”
161:1 Ps. xix. 4. That is the Sound (= Word) of the Heavens; quoted also in Rom. x. 18.
161:2 Cf. Od., xxiv. 5. And compare also Hamlet, I. i.:
“The sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.”
161:3 Od., ibid. ff.
161:4 Ps. cxviii. 22. Quoted in Matt. xxi. 42; Mark xii. 10; Luke xx. 17; Acts iv. 11.
162:1 Taken by C. from S. and J., § 20; but I think that C. has missed the true meaning of the “corner-stone” in the brain.
162:2 Cf. Eph. iii. 15.
162:3 Is. xxviii. 16—reading ἐντάσσω for ἐμβάλλω of LXX.; quoted also in Eph. ii. 20 and 1 Pet. ii. 7.
162:4 Sc. Isaiah.
162:5 Completion of the lacuna by R.
162:6 χαράκωμα—a technical term also for the “Gnostic” supernal Horos or Boundary.
162:7 Dan. ii. 15.
162:8 Compare the “complaints of the souls” in the K.K. fragments.
162:9 Od., xxiv. 9 f.
162:10 Od., ibid.
163:1 Cf. Il., xiv. 201, 246; Hymn. Orph., lxxxiii. 2.
163:2 Ps. lxxxii. 6.
163:3 Cf. Gal. iv. 27: “But Jerusalem Above is free, which is our Mother.” (W. and H. text.)
163:4 The final quotation within the quotation is also from Ps. lxxxii. 6. Here, then, we have a quotation from a scripture (“what is written”), glossed by J. with his special exegesis, but already being an exegesis of an Old Testament logos. It is not only a halacha, to use a term of Talmudic Kabbinism, but it is an authoritative apocalypse of the Jewish Gnosis.
163:5 John iii. 6.
163:6 Sc. the Naassenes, according to H.
164:1 I am persuaded that this stood originally in J., and not in C.—being LXX. for Joshua.
164:2 This paragraph summarises S. See next S.
164:3 ἀβσίλευτος—that is, presumably, those who have learned to rule themselves, the “self-taught” race, etc., of Philo.
164:4 Eusebius (Præp. Evang., IX. xxviii. and xxix. 5 ff.; ed. Dind. i. 505 ff. and 508 ff.), quoting from Alexander Cornelius (Polyhistor), who nourished about 100 B.C., has preserved to us a number of verses from a tragedy (called The Leading Forth) on the subject of Moses and the Exodus story, by a certain Ezechiel, a (? Alexandrian) Hebrew poet writing in Greek. In these fragments of Ezechiels tragedy, Mariam, Sepphōra, and Jothōr are all dramatis personæ. These spellings and that of Madiam are, of course, all LXX. (that is, Greek Targum) forms of our A.V. Miriam, Jethro, Zipporah, and Midian.
165:1 Il., xv. 189.
165:2 Cf. Luke viii. 10. Luke seems to preserve the reading of the source more correctly than Matt. xiii. 13 or Mark iv. 12. The Saying looks back to Is. vi. 9.
165:3 Cf. § 30 J.
165:4 These three names are based on the Hebrew text of Is. xxviii. 13, A.V.: “But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little.” LXX.: “καὶ ἔσται αὐτοῖς τὸ λόγιον κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ, θλῖψις ἐπὶ θλῖψιν ἐλπὶς ἐπ ἐλπίδι, ἔτι μικρὸν ἔτι μικρόν.” That is: “And the logion [oracle, the Urim-and-Thummim, or instrument of the Logos, according to Philo] of God shall be to them tribulation on tribulation, hope on hope, still little still little.” See Epiphanius, Hær., xxv. 4. “Saulasau saulasau” = “tribulation on tribulation, tribulation on tribulation;” “kaulakau kaulakau” = “hope on hope, hope on hope;” “zeēsar [zeēsar]” = “still little still little”—that is, the “Height of Hope,” the “Depth of Tribulation,” and the “As yet Very Little”—evidently referring to the as yet small number of the Regenerate. Cf. Pistis Sophia, 354: “One out of a thousand, and two out of ten thousand.” See Salmons article, “Caulacau,” in Smith and Waces D. of Ch. Biog., i. 424 f. It is also to be noticed that Epiphanius ascribes the origin of these names to the Nicolaïtans. In Hebrew the corresponding name would be Balaamites; and Balaam or Bileam (Nico-laus) was one of the Rabbinical by-names for Jeschu (Jesus). See D. J. L., p. 188.
165:5 This and the following paragraph seem to have been misplaced by J. or C., for § 19 connects directly with the exposition concerning the ithyphallic Hermes. See R. 100, n. 4.
166:1 ὡς ἐκ γῆς ῥέοντα Ι`η-ρυόν-ην.
166:2 Mēn was the Phrygian Deus Lunus. See Drexlers admirable art. s.v. in Roscher, ii. 2687-2770.
166:3 κεκέρακε—a word-play on κέρας (horn), unreproducible in English.
166:4 John i. 3, 4. So the present text; but it must have been “nothing” in the text which lay before C.
166:5 Cf. the logos, from The Book of the Great Logos according to the Mystery: “Jesus, the Living One, answered and said: Blessed is the man who knoweth this [Word (Logos)], and hath brought down the Heaven, and borne the Earth and raised it heavenwards, and he becometh the Middle, for it (the Middle) is nothing.”—Schmidt (C.), Gnostische Schriften in koptischer Sprache aus dem Codex Brucianus (Leipzig, 1892), p. 144; and Koptisch-gnostische Schriften (Leipzig, 1905), p. 259.
166:6 That is the world of phenomena, or cosmos of species (ἰδικός) and not of genera or wholes.
166:7 The fourth Demiurgic Power of the Sensible World was Esaldaios, as we have already seen from J., § 12. The indications are too vague to recover the “measures” and “numbers” of the system. But the “third and fourth” are apparently both “fiery”—the former giving “light,” the latter “heat.” Compare § 23 C., who speaks of the third Gate, or entrance to the third Heaven. This Heaven, the third from below, would correspond with the first ætheric sphere—there being, presumably, three before the fourth or middle, the “Fiery Ruler.”
167:1 Sc. “Heavenly Horn of Mēn.”
167:2 Cf. Gen. xliv. 5.
167:3 Bergk includes these verses among the Anacreontica, n. 63, p. 835. Cf. Anacr., i. 10 (Bergk, 50, 10).
167:4 The last line is reconstructed by Cruice (not. in loc.). Cf. Anacr., xxvi. 25, 26. Was Omar Ḵhayyām, then, “Anacreon palingenēs,” or was the same spirit in each?
167:5 Cf. John ii. 11. The reading of our quotation, however, is very different from that of the familiar Textus Receptus.
167:6 Cf. Luke xvii. 21.
167:7 Cf. Matt. xiii. 44.
167:8 Cf. Matt. xiii. 33 = Luke xiii. 20.
168:1 This seems to connect immediately with the end of § 16. See R. 100, n. 4.
168:2 S. probably had “For,” which was glossed by J. into “Moreover.”
168:3 But this “statue,” as we have seen, was the ithyphallus simply.
168:4 Or Typal Man.
168:5 Or, generated or born from Above.
168:6 Cf. John vi. 53, which reads in T. R.: “Amēn, Amēn, I say unto you, if ye eat not the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, ye have not Life in yourselves.”
168:7 Cf. Matt. xx. 22 = Mark x. 38 (where the phrase is put in a question).
168:8 Cf. John viii. 21 and xiii. 33. It is remarkable that in the text of our Gospels these logoi are addressed to the Jews; C., however, takes them as sayings addressed to the disciples. It is possible that we may have here a “source” of the Fourth Gospel!
169:1 These “tribes,” then, were not the Jewish tribes, ten of which did not return, but twelve typical natures of men, and something else.
169:2 See Immischs excellent art., “Kureten u. Korybanten,” in Roscher, ii. 1587-1628.
169:3 Κορύβας, the Lord of the Corybantes, or frenzied priests of Cybele, is thus feigned by mystical word-play to be ὁ ἀπὸ-κορυφῆς-βας, “he who descends from the head.”
169:4 Cf. C., § 14.
169:5 Apparently a quotation from some Jewish apocryphon. Cf. John v. 37: “Ye have never at any time heard His voice nor have ye seen His form.”
170:1 Cf. Ps. xxviii. 10.
170:2 Ibid., 3.
170:3 Conflation of LXX. of Ps. xxiv. 17 and Ps. xxi. 21.
170:4 A paraphrase of LXX.—Is. xli. 8.
170:5 A paraphrase of LXX.—Is. xliii. 1.
170:6 Isaiah; or the Word speaking through the prophet.
170:7 Is. xliii. 1.
170:8 Sc. Isaiah.
170:9 Paraphrase of LXX.—Is. xlix. 15.
170:10 Is. xlix. 16.
171:1 Ps. xxiii. 7 and 9.
171:2 Ps. xxiii. 10.
171:3 Sc. a “Serpent.”
171:4 Ps. xxi. 6.
171:5 Ps. xxiii. 10 and 8.
171:6 Sc. the psalmist; or, rather, the Logos through the psalmist.
171:7 Job xl. 27.
171:8 Gen. xxviii. 7.
171:9 Sc. Jacob.
171:10 Gen. xxviii. 17.
171:11 Cf. John x. 9—“true” not appearing in the traditional text.
171:12 Sc. “Jacob”—using the name in the Philonean sense.
172:1 This is the Zeus Phrygius of Diodor. iii. 58, and Eustathius, 565, 3. Cf. R. 163, n. 3, and Zwei relig. Fragen, 104, n. 3.
172:3 παῦε παῦε, a mystical word-play on πά-πά.
172:4 Cf. Eph. ii. 17.
172:5 Cf. what underlies Matt, xxiii. 27, Luke xi. 44, and Acts xxiii. 3.
172:6 Cf. “Jesus, the Living [One]” in the Introduction to the newest found Sayings; and also passim in the Introduction (apparently an excerpt from another document) to the First Book of Ieou, in the Codex Brucianus.
172:7 Cf. what underlies Matt, xxvii. 52, 53.
173:1 Some words have apparently been omitted, corresponding to the final clause of the last sentence in S. See R., p. 101.
173:2 Cf. 2 Cor. xii. 2-4.
173:3 Cf. 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14.
173:4 Cf. John vi. 44. Instead of “Heavenly Father,” T. R. reads “the Father who sent me.” Compare with this the longest of the newest found logoi, concerning “them who draw us” towards self-knowledge or the “kingship within.” (Grenfell and Hunt, op. cit., p. 15.)
173:5 Cf. Matt. vii. 21.
174:1 Cf. Matt. xxi. 31. T. R. reads “The Kingdom of God.”
174:2 Or perfectionings, or completions, or endings, or initiations; also taxes—here a mystical synonym for pleromata (fullnesses) or logoi (words).
174:3 Or, collectors of dues.
174:4 1 Cor. x. 11.
174:5 Cf. the logos underlying Matt. xiii. 3 ff. = Mark iv. 3 ff. = Luke viii. 5 ff.
174:6 Slightly paraphrased from LXX.—Deut. xxxi. 20.
174:7 In that they are rulers of themselves, members of the “self-taught” Race—ἀβασιλεύτους, that is, free from the Rulers of Destiny, or Kārmic bonds.
175:1 Cf. Matt. iii. 10= Luke iii. 9. Cf. also Hipp., Philos., vi. 16, in his maltreatment of the “Simonian” Gnosis.
175:2 That is, Sons of the Logos.
175:3 Cf. note on the third Ruler in § 17 C.
175:4 Presumably the Phrygians.
175:5 If our attribution of this to J. is correct (R. gives it to C.), we have perhaps before us a logos from the Phrygian Mysteries.
175:6 This may possibly be assigned to C.; but C. usually comments on J. and does not lead, and the terminology is that of J. and not of C.
175:7 A simple form of Matt. vii. 6. Is it by any means possible an underlying mystical word-play on the Eleusinian logos “ὕε κύε”; hence ὕς (pig)—a synonym of χοῖρος and κύων (dog)?
175:8 This section seems to be misplaced, and § 25 probably followed § 23 immediately in the original; the antithesis of Fruitful and Unfruitful following one another, as above (§ 22), the antithesis of Dead and God.
175:9 αἰ-πόλος, vulg. = “goat-herd.”
176:1 S. had probably “ignorant.”
176:2 ἀειπόλος, τουτέστι ἀεὶ πολῶν. Cf. Plato, Cratylus, 408 C, D.
176:3 This is not very clear. But see Mozleys article, “Polus,” in Smith, Wayte, and Marindins D. of Gk. and Rom. Antiquities (London, 1891), ii. 442, 443: “Both in [Platos] Timæus, 40 B. and [Aristotles] De Cælo, ii. 14, πόλος is used, not for the entire heaven, but for the axis of heaven and earth, around which the whole revolved. Again in the De Cælo, ii. 2, the πόλοι are the poles, north and south, in our sense of the word.” Compare also the rubric in one of the rituals in the Greek Magic Papyri—C. Wessely, Griechische Zauberpapyrus, in Denkschr. d. Akad., ph. hist. Kl., xxxvi. (Vienna, 1888)—where it is said that the Sun will then move towards the Pole, and the theurgist will see Seven Virgins (the Seven Fortunes of Heaven) approach, and Seven Youths, with heads of bulls (the Pole-lords of Heaven), who make the axis turn (661-670). Compare this with the “cylinder” idea in the fragment of K. K. Then there will appear the Great God “in a white robe and trowsers, with a crown of gold on his head, holding in his right hand the golden shoulder of a heifer, that is the Bear that sets in motion and keeps the heaven turning in due seasons.” This God will pronounce an oracle, and the theurgist will then receive the gift of divination. The special interest of this tradition is that it contains a Magian element (to wit, the “trowsers”), and this connects closely with Phrygia and the cult that was wedded most closely with the Mithriaca, namely, that of the Mother of the Gods.
176:4 Od., iv. 384. In the Proteus myth Egypt is the Nile—that is, the “Great Green,” the Heaven Ocean. Proteus was also said to have been the messenger or servant of Poseidon, the special God, it will be remembered, of Platos Atlantis.
177:1 πιπράσκεται, a synonym of πωλεῖται, which, besides the meaning of “coming and going,” or “moving about,” also signifies “is sold”; but I do not see the appositeness of the remark, unless the “ignorant” so understood it.
177:2 Is. liv. 1; quoted also in Gal. iv. 27. Cf. Philo, De Execrat., § 7; M. ii. 435, P. 936 (Ri. v. 254): “For when she [the Soul] is a multitude of passions and filled with vices, her children swarming over her—pleasures, appetites, folly, intemperance, unrighteousness, injustice—she is weak and sick, and lies at deaths door, dying; but when she becomes sterile, and ceases to bring them forth, or even casts them from her, forthwith, from the change, she becometh a chaste virgin, and, receiving the Divine Seed, she fashions and engenders marvellous excellencies that Nature prizeth highly—prudence, courage, temperance, justice, holiness, piety, and the rest of the virtues and good dispositions.”
There are, thus, seen to be identical ideas of a distinctly marked character in both J. and Philo. Did J., then, belong to Philos “circle”? Or, rather, did Philo represent a propagandist side of J.s circle? In other words, can we possibly have before us in J. a Therapeut allegorical exercise, based on S., by an exceedingly liberal-minded Hellenistic Jewish mystic?
178:1 Cf. Matt. ii. 18, which depends on Jer. xxxi. 15 (LXX. xxxviii. 15). In T. R., however, the reading is by no means the same as in LXX. C. favours the Gospel text rather than that of LXX.
178:2 This shows a very detached frame of mind on behalf of J. Perhaps it may be an interpolation of C.
178:3 Jer. xvii. 9.
178:4 This has all the appearance of a quotation from some mystic apocryphon of the Gnosis.
178:5 See Cumont (F.), Mystères de Mithra (Brussels, 1898). In the monuments representing the bull-slaying myth of the Mithriaca, the bulls tail is frequently terminated in “une truffe depis”—the number varies, being either one, three, five, or seven. In the Bundahish all things are generated from the body, especially from the spinal marrow, of the slain bull. Sometimes the wheat-ears are represented as flowing like blood from the wound above the heart inflicted by the dagger of Mithras, the Bull-slayer (op. cit., i. 186, 187). The constellation of the Wheat-ear in the Virgin, which was supposed to give good harvests, presumably refers to the same idea (cf. Eratosth., Cataster., 9). See op. cit., i. 202, 205, n. 2. The wheat-ear, therefore, symbolised in one aspect the “generative seed”—in animals and men-animals the spermatozoa, in man a mystery. Mithraicism had the closest connection with the Phrygian Mystery Cult; indeed, the Magna Mater Mysteries were used by it for the initiation of women, who were excluded from the Mithriaca proper.
179:1 The Light-spark of Pistis Sophia nomenclature.
179:2 That is, the hierophant initiate of the Great Mother.
179:3 ὑπὸ πολλῷ πύρι, lit., “to the accompaniment of much fire.” This refers, I believe, to the brilliant illumination of the Temple, or, as it was variously called, the Initiation Hall (τελεστήριον), the Mystic Enclosure (μυστικὸς σηκός)—though this was probably the inner court surrounding the Temple proper the Great Hall (μέγαρον), or Palace (άγάκτορον). As Hatch says, in the tenth of his famous Hibbert Lectures for 1888: “And at night there were the mystic plays: the scenic representations, the drama in symbol and for sight. The torches were extinguished; they stood outside the Temple [in the Mystic Enclosure, presumably] in the silence and darkness. The door opened—there was a blaze of light—before them was enacted the drama.” Hatch (E.), The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church (4th ed., London, 1892). See also my “Notes on the Eleusinian Mysteries,” in The Theosoph. Rev. (April 1898), xxii. p. 151.
180:1 See especially Lobeck, Aglaophamus, 587 ff.
180:2 ἤλθομεν, this verb forming its tenses from √ερ and √ελυθ, and ἔλευσις meaning also “coming.”
180:3 Emend, by Keil.
180:5 It need hardly be said that this is all mystical word-play; ἀνακτόρειον is philologically derived from the same stem as ἄναξ, “a king.” Cf. the Anaktoron or Palace as the name of the Eleusinian Temple of Initiation.
180:6 Heracleitus, Fr. (25, Diels; 101, Fairbanks, First Philosophers of Greece). “Deaths” may also be rendered destinies, fates, or dooms.
181:1 Sc. the first path.
181:2 These verses are from some unknown poet, who is conjectured variously to have been either Parmenides or Pamphus of Athens. See notes in loc. in both Schneidewin and Cruice.
181:3 Sc. those of Persephonē.
181:4 Sc. the Greater Mysteries; in which, presumably, the candidate went through some symbolic rite of death and resurrection.
181:5 Or true virility, ἀπηρσενωμένους, which equates with ἀπ-ανδρουμένους, I believe, and does not mean demasculati, or exuta virilitate, as translated respectively by Schneidewin and Cruice. For the “death” mentioned above and the “casting away of the garments,” see the Mystery Ritual in The Acts of John (F. F. F., 431-434); and for the latter and the “Virginal Spirit,” the passages on the Sacred Marriage which I have collected in the chapter on the main doctrines of Philo.
182:1 A loose reference to LXX.—Is. vii. 14.
182:2 Or Eternity of Eternities.
182:3 Cf. Matt. vii. 13, 14; our text, however, is an inversion of the clauses, with several various readings, of T. R.
182:4 This seems to connect with the Fruitful of § 25. See below, in the Hymn “Whether blest Child,” the “cut wheat-ear” that Amygdalos brought forth.
182:5 This refers to the First Man.
182:6 Vulg., Almond-tree.
182:7 In the Mithriaca, Mithras, in the most ancient myth, was represented as in (? born from) a Tree. See Cumont.
182:8 Reading οἱονεὶ διαφύζοντα with S., C., and R.; but the Codex has οιον ἰδία σφύζοντα. If we read ᾠόν for the corrupt οιον, we get “the Egg throbbing apart” or in separation—and so link on with the Orphic (Chaldæan) tradition.
182:9 διήμυξε, the synonym of a term which occurs frequently in the Pistis Sophia, “I tore myself asunder.”
182:10 That is, to Man Son of Man.
183:1 The somewhat boastful tone, shown in several passages already, probably betrays C.; it may, however, be assigned to J.
183:2 ἀμύξαι, a play on Amygdalos.
183:3 That is, “scarifications.”
183:4 Cf. John i. 3., reading, however, οὐδὲν and not the οὐδὲ ἕν of W. H.
183:5 The Piper; properly, the player on the syrinx or seven-reeded Pan-pipe. Compare the Mystery Ritual in The Acts of John: “I would pipe; dance all of you!” (F. F. F., p. 432); and, “We have piped unto you and ye have not danced” (Matt. xi. 17 = Luke vii. 27).
183:6 Or harmonised; that is, cosmic or ordered. Cf. C. H., i. 15: “For being above the Harmony, He became a slave enharmonised”; also Orph. Hymn., viii. 11; and also Acts of John, where the Logos is spoken of as “Wisdom in harmony” (F. F. F., 436).
183:7 Cf. John iv. 24.
183:8 A conflation of John iv. 21 and 23. The “mountain,” when used mystically, signifies the inner “Mount of initiation.” Jerusalem in the text signifies the Jerusalem Below. The true worshippers worship in the Jerusalem Above.
184:1 Sc. the Son.
184:2 Sc. the Piper.
184:3 ρῆμα—used also by Philo and LXX.
184:4 With slight verbal omissions the opening lines down to “foundation” are identical with the beginning of The Great Apocalypse or Announcement of the “Simonian” tradition, an exceedingly interesting document from which some quotations have been preserved to us by Hippolytus elsewhere (Philos., vi. 9). The “Simonian” tradition was regarded by all the Church Fathers as the source of all “heresy”; but modern criticism regards The Great Announcement as a late document of the Christian Gnosis. The quotation of this document by J., however, makes this opinion, in my view, entirely untenable. If my analysis stands firm, The Great Announcement is thus proved to be pre-Christian, according to the traditional date. I am also inclined to think that in this quotation itself we have already the work of a commentator and not the original form of the Apocalypse.
185:1 Cf. § 16 J.
185:2 Cf. Matt. xiii. 31 = Mark iv. 30 = Luke xiii. 18.
185:3 Sc. the Heavens of the Psalm, that is, the Æons and the rest above.
185:4 Ps. xviii. 3.
185:5 The Naassenes, in Hs view.
185:7 κιθάραν—the ancient cithara was triangular in shape and had seven strings.
185:8 The text of the following Ode has been reconstructed by Wilamowitz in Hermes, xxxvii. 328; our translation is from his reconstruction.
185:9 ἄκουσμα—a hearing, an instruction, lesson, discourse, sermon, applied to the public lectures of Pythagoras (Jamb., V. P., 174). It means also a song or even a “singer,” a “bard.” “Their singers (ἀκούσματα) are thus called bards” (Posid. ap. Athen., vi. 49). The Hearers (οἱ ἀκουσματικοί) were the Probationers in the School of Pythagoras (see s.vv. in Sophocles Lex.). Schneidewin and Cruice adopt Hermanns “emendation,” ἄκρισμα (mutilation), but I prefer the reading of the Codex, as referring to the “mournful piper,” or Logos, in the flowing “discord” of Rhea or Chaos, and therefore the “song” that Rhea is beginning to sing as she changes from Chaos to Cosmos.
186:1 Perhaps Quick, for θεὸς is from θέ-ειν, “to run,” to imitate the word-play of our mystics.
186:2 Or cut.
186:4 Lit., “bellower.”
187:1 The Hebrew Naḥash, as we have already seen.
187:2 There being more of J. than of H. in this, I have printed it as J. though it is a defaced J. I am also persuaded that in what follows we have a quotation from a “Simonian” document by J. rather than J. himself.
187:3 That is, temples.
187:4 Who derived all things symbolically from “Water.”
187:5 Cf. Deut. xxxiii. 17.
187:6 Cf. Gen. ii. 10 (LXX.).
188:1 Cf. Gen. ii. 11, 12.
188:2 Ibid., 13.
188:3 Ibid., 14.
188:5 The substance of this is also to be found in the “Simonian” tradition “refuted” by Hippolytus.
188:6 Cf. Gen. i. 7.
188:7 Cf. John iv. 10.
189:1 Lit., the Heracleian stone.
189:2 κερκίδι. Cf. Hipp., Phil., v. 17, on system of Sethiani (S. 198, 36). Both S. and C. translate it correctly as “spina,” meaning “backbone”; it has, however, been erroneously translated as “spur.” Plutarch, De Is. et Os., lxii. 3, tells us that the load-stone was called by the Egyptians “bone of Horus”; and Horus is the “hawk” par excellence, the “golden hawk.” Cf. Budge, Gods of the Egyptians, ii. 246, who says that we are informed by Manetho (thus making Manetho the main source of Plutarch) that the “load-stone is by the Egyptians called the bone of Horus, as iron is the bone of Typho.” In the chapter of the Ritual dealing with the deification of the members, the backbone of the deceased is identified with the backbone of Set (xlii. 12). Elsewhere (cviii. 8) the deceased is said “to depart having the harpoon of iron in him.” This seems to suggest the black backbone of death and the golden backbone of life.
189:3 Cf. John ix. 1; τυφλὸς ἐκ γενετῆς, perhaps mystically meaning “blind from (owing to) genesis.” Cf. the “blind accuser” in the Trismegistic treatise quoted by Zosimus in our Fragments.
189:4 John i. 9.
189:5 This is evidently to be attributed to J., or rather his “Simonian” source, as it follows directly on the sentence about “every nature selecting.” Either C. has suppressed the opening words of J.s paragraph and substituted his own gloss, or H. has mangled his text.
190:1 A lacuna in the Codex which is thus completed by S. and C.
190:2 Cf. Is. xl. 15.
190:3 That is, Messiah-ites, or Anointed-ones.
190:4 Cf. 1 Sam. xvi. 13.
190:5 1 Sam. x. 1.
190:6 The text of this Hymn is in places very corrupt; I have followed Cruices emendations mostly. Schneidewin, for some reason or other which he does not state, omits it bodily from his Latin translation.
191:1 This attribution may be thought by some to be questionable; but as it is far more similar to the thought-sphere of J. than to that of C., I have so assigned it. It belonged to the same circles to which we must assign the sources of J.
191:2 γενικὸς—perhaps “general” simply.
191:3 Or, of the Whole.
191:4 The Codex has ἔλαφον, which, with Miller, we correct into ἐλάφου. Is this a parallel with the “lost sheep” idea? Can it possibly connect with the conception underlying the phrases on the golden tablets found in tombs of “Orphic” initiates, on the territory of ancient Sybaris: “A kid thou hast fallen into the milk” (“Timpone grande” Tablet a, Naples Museum, Kaibel, C.I.G.I.S., 642); and, “A kid I have fallen into milk” (“Campagno” Tablet a, ibid., 641, and Append., p. 668)? But this connection is very hazy; it more probably suggests the nebris or “fawn-skin” of the Bacchic initiates (see my Orpheus, “The Fawn-skin,” pp. 243 ff., for an explanation). Cruice proposes to substitute ὑδαρὸν (“watery”); but there seems no reason why we should entirely reject the reading of the Codex, especially as C.s suggestion breaks the rule of the “more difficult” reading being the preferable.
191:5 βασιλείαν—kingdom or kingship.
191:6 The Codex reads εἶπεν διησοῦς ἐσὸρ. Can this possibly be a glossed and broken-down remains of Ἰαω Ζεησαρ (Iaō Zeēsar)?
192:1 Cruice thinks this refers to the breath of Gods anger; but surely it refers to the Holy Spirit of God?
192:2 Sc. the soul, the “wandering sheep.”
192:3 Cf. “the bitter Water,” or “Darkness,” or “Chaos,” of the Sethian system in Hipp., Philos., v. 19; and see the note to the comments following Hermes-Prayer v., p. 92.
192:4 The Logos in His descent through the spheres takes on the Forms of all the Powers.
192:5 Is it, however, possible that the original Hymn had Naas (Νάαν) and not Gnosis (Γνῶσιν)?
193:1 Cf. R. 99, 100; and 100, n. 4.
195:1 Wilamowitz hesitating attribution of it to the reign of Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) is, in my opinion, devoid of any objective support whatever. (See R., p. 102.) Reitzenstein himself (p. 165) would place it in the second century B.C.
195:2 Incidentally also it may be pointed out that this analysis gives the coup de grâce to Salmons contention (“The Cross-references in the Philosophumena,” Hermathena, 1885, v. 389 if.) that the great systems of the Gnosis made known to us only by Hippolytus are all the work of a single forger who imposed upon the credulity of the heresy-hunting Bishop of Portus. This contention, though to our mind one of the most striking instances of “the good Homer nodding,” was nevertheless practically endorsed by Stähelin (Die gnostische Quellen Hippolyts in seiner Hauptschrift gegen die Haeretiken, 1890; in Texte u. Untersuchungen, VI.), who went over the whole ground opened up by Salmon with minute and scrupulous industry. The general weakness of this extraordinary hypothesis of forgery has, however, been well pointed out by De Faye in his Introduction à lÉtude du Gnosticisme au IIe et au IIIe Siècle (Paris, 1903), pp. 24 ff.; though De Faye also maintains a late date.
196:1 R. p. 9.
197:1 Dieterich, Abraxas, 203 ff.
197:2 Gen. xlii. 11.
197:3 De Confus. Ling., § 11; M. i. 411, P. 326 (Ri. ii. 257).
198:1 To make himself a cosmos like the Great Cosmos.
198:2 Ibid., § 28; M. i. 426, 427, P. 341 (Ri. ii. 279).