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Author Topic: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion  (Read 13203 times)

Nyktelios

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2011, 10:06:04 pm »
Quote from: Astani;7838
I meant "why you thought so" was why he thought that Greek afterlife was less developed. Sorry for that. But he did say it in a sarcastic way which didn't make sense since no one was referring to Christians as evil at all.

I didn't mean that anyone in particular was saying Christianity was evil. Kallimachos was complaining about Christianity not too long ago in this discussion, and it's just a common thing to do in the pagan community to gripe about how Christians destroyed "our" traditions and forced their religion on the world, so I was responding to that attitude.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 10:06:31 pm by Nyktelios »

Haganrix

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2011, 10:26:09 am »
Quote from: SeaShine;7822
Liberate itself to what, becoming a minor deity?



At least to abstain from mistakes or should it not?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 10:31:46 am by Haganrix »

Haganrix

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2011, 11:13:39 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;7828
Neoplatonism was a very late development in terms of Greek civilization, and Julian was a Roman hellenophile who idealized Greek polytheism during the decline of paganism. His version of paganism was quite different than traditional Greek polytheism from before Roman conquest.

Your information of Julians biography does not appear very precise. Sure, he had Roman parents, but they were killed by christians in his early childhood. Julian himself was born in Nicomedia (today's Izmit) grown up and educated in Asia Minor. His private teacher Mardonius educated him in Greek language and all the people of his environment spoke the Koine, the commom Greek language of that era. So he was not a "Roman hellenophile" but a native speaker. Thus all his letters, also to his friends like Saturninius Salutius Secundus (Saloustios), he wrote in that language.

Quite different to your posting, Julian and Saloustios advocated the ancient cults, say the cult of Attis and Kybele that was a very old one and adopted by the Greeks during the classic period from the Phrygians, an old indo-european tribe in Asia Minor. That was definitely traditional!
In his edict for the teachers, exactly the appended letter, he literally refers to the notions of Hesiod an Homer concerning the Gods.

Carnelian wrote:
"It was a contrast to a culture like Egypt, where the majority of people did believe in a specific afterlife, the paradise of Osiris. "

I find it interesting that you mention Osiris. Osiris was raised by the Ptolemeans, the Greek elite in late Egypt. Before the ptolemean era Osiris was not the leading God.

Carnelian wrote:
".....long after the glory days of the Hellenic civilization, which by then was just a Roman province."


You are displaying yourself as "Greco-Egyptian". What should be the "Greco" than?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 11:22:27 am by Haganrix »

kallimahos

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2011, 12:49:02 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;7060
This shows one Christian official claims the ancient Gods did not exist.


This is the senior Orthodox official expressing old and popular apologetics, but the point is on 'why' rather than on 'who' and 'what'.

Of course being Patriarch is not meant to climb the podium and say "I apologize in behalf of my dogma for cannibalizing the works of Plato, Zeno and Aristotle."



Quote from: RandallS;7060
Side Note: Many of those ancient Greek philosophers did not believe that the dodekatheon existed either -- often believing that there was just one God.


Seeing the Divine as a whole does not exclude it having many facets. This is first explained by Plato and then systematized by the neoplatonists.



Quote from: RandallS;7060
Do you know why ancient Christian theologians came to identify the Gods of Rome (and the Greeks) with demons? It wasn't because their theology demanded it, but because the persecution of the Christians was so horrible under certain Roman officials that these theologians came to believe than any deities that could allow such things to be done in their names had to really be demons.


1) Back then, the term 'demon' meant nothing in the shape of 'horrible'.
2) Christian theology did demand the damnation of any other deities, the 'jealous' biblical Yahweh punished severely any such worship.
3) How many were those persecutions and what made the persecution of Christians (in particular) so horrible?
4) Who were those persecutors that acted in the name of deities rather than in the name of the (deified) roman emperor?



Quote from: Carnelian;7071
but the early conversion of pagans in the Mediterranean wasn't so forceful


Well, the codexes (codex justinianus, codex theodosianus) exist and they present an awful face towards the pagans of the era: fines, confiscations, expelling, death. At this point, Christian apologetics go like "but the laws were not strictly enforced upon the inhabitants of the empire", quoting 19th & 18th century historians like Gregorovius and Gibbon. This still leaves us to explain
- why christianization was directed from the urban centers outwards
- who vandalized the vast majority of the sculptures, why were certain temples demolished, churches/cemeteries built over and near sacred sites etc.
- how in a matter of 3 centuries had those small and marginal communities of anarchist weirdos turned into loyal imperial minions and grown to cover the entire Mediterranean



Quote from: SeaShine;7822
Liberate itself to what, becoming a minor deity?


If I remember this well, the Orphic tradition (expressed by Plato) has it that souls fall on Earth from the eternal world, only to return to it after a number of transmigrations, over which they aim to morally improve and gradually free themselves from all kinds of material dependencies.

Somebody please correct me if i'm wrong.



Quote from: Carnelian;7828
My personal opinion is that another reason Christianity was embraced by Roman emperors after Constantine (except for everyone's hero, the pretty insignificant Julian), was that it offered a way to unite the empire under one God and one faith, rather than maintaining the chaotic open system of paganism as the empire expanded to include many foreign lands and new gods.


These two do fit, the empire represents centralized political power, just as monotheism represents centralized divine power. Before Augustus, Persians had also worshiped their emperor and Alexander had exhibited certain traits too.

Of course, this doesn't mean that monotheism makes an emperor better than polytheism does, Julian and Marcus Aurelius are fine examples.

DashesAgainst

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2011, 01:24:03 pm »
Quote from: Haganrix;8332
At least to abstain from mistakes or should it not?

Actually, I was asking if the soul is deified after it "liberates" itself from the cycle of reincarnation.

Quote from: kallimahos;8374
If I remember this well, the Orphic tradition (expressed by Plato) has it that souls fall on Earth from the eternal world, only to return to it after a number of transmigrations, over which they aim to morally improve and gradually free themselves from all kinds of material dependencies.

Somebody please correct me if i'm wrong.

Thanks for your answer.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 01:25:28 pm by DashesAgainst »
"Of all the rest of mankind, make him your friend who distinguishes himself by his virtue." - The Golden Verses of Pythagoras

Haganrix

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2011, 03:39:31 pm »
Quote from: SeaShine;8388
Actually, I was asking if the soul is deified after it "liberates" itself from the cycle of reincarnation.



Thanks for your answer.



But if you desire some more evidence, you may read the treatise of Saloustios, On the Gods and the Cosmos, chapter XXI, par. 1. According to Saloustios, the virtual souls will govern the World together with the Gods. But also those who will not achieve such a position will be liberated by their virtual lives.

DashesAgainst

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2011, 04:18:58 pm »
Quote from: Haganrix;8426
But if you desire some more evidence, you may read the treatise of Saloustios, On the Gods and the Cosmos, chapter XXI, par. 1. According to Saloustios, the virtual souls will govern the World together with the Gods. But also those who will not achieve such a position will be liberated by their virtual lives.

 
Thanks for the reference.
"Of all the rest of mankind, make him your friend who distinguishes himself by his virtue." - The Golden Verses of Pythagoras

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