Divine Institutes, Book I (Of the False Worship of the Gods) And because it was impossible that the divine method of procedure should become known to man. – Lactantius – Divinarum Institutionum [Omnes Libri Collecti] . up in writing the divine Institutions, in which we shall not speak about rain-droppings. These criticisms apart, the new Liverpool translation of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes is an important achievement. The introduction provides a.
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Is he not, from his earliest childhood, proved to be impious, and almost a parricide, since he expelled his father from his kingdom, and banished him, and did not await his death though he was aged and worn out, such was his eagerness for rule?
For there is no power so great, as the orator says, which cannot be weakened and broken by iron and strength. For 4th century author, see Lactantius Placidus. If any one is able, let him do away with this argument.
Attempts to determine the time of the End were viewed as in contradiction to Acts 1: Whom, then, shall we believeif we do not credit those who praise institutfs It is impossible for a God to be fashioned from the loins of a man and the womb of a woman.
And no wonder, since he was born from an adulterous intercourse with Alcmena. When the earnest attention of the human mind and its acute sagacity and memory has reached Him, all ways being, as it were, summed up and exhausted, it stops, it is at a loss, it fails; nor is there anything beyond to which it can proceed.
Pluto in Latin is Dispater; others call him Orcus.
CHURCH FATHERS: The Divine Institutes (Lactantius)
But what was the opinion of clever men respecting this is evident from the saying of Cicero, who says that the flame came from heaven, not to destroy that earthly dwelling-place of Jupiter, but to demand a loftier and more magnificent abode.
But how foolish these things are, and how unworthy of being the causes why men should contaminate themselves with inexpiable guilt, and become enemies to Godin contempt of whom they undertake offerings to the dead, I will show from particular instances.
And that no one might inquire His name, he said that He was without name, and that on account of His very unity He does not require the peculiarity of a name. But if any one considers what the works of God are, he will at once judge all these things, which most trifling men admire, to be ridiculous.
But they who reckon the overthrow of cities and people as the greatest glory will not endure public tranquillity: Upon this their mother Vesta, and their sisters Ceres and Ops, advise Saturn not to give up the kingdom to his brother. But what can be more absurd than this? Translated by Mary Francis McDonald. How therefore can I fail to fear, if that which precedes or brings about death is an evil?
But this cannot possibly be so, because the power of these gods individually will not be able to proceed further, the power of the others meeting and hindering them.
O father, O sire, O race, descended from the gods. But these are neither gods, nor do nistitutes wish to be called gods or to be worshipped, inasmuch as they do nothing but execute the command and will of God.
Also, if there is no providence, how is it that the bodies of animals are arranged with such foresight, that the various members, being disposed in a wonderful manner, discharge their own offices individually? The persecution forced him to leave Nicomedia and from the outbreak of hostilities until perhaps or he had to live elsewhere. He will produce no such authorities. Why, then, did she, a virginentrust that boy shut up with a dragon and sealed to three virgins born from Cecrops?
Even lactantiuz philosophers were deceived by this error ; for because these things which are related lactahtius Jupiter appeared divie to the character of a god, they introduced two Jupiters, one natural, the other fabulous.
And for us, assuredly, it is very easy lactamtius follow up this part as copiously as it may please us. For in another response he also said: He did so for this purpose, that the kingdom might return to his own sons. There was evidently a reason why she undertook so great a labour for a youth so faithful, who had refused compliance with the love of his stepmother.
What can be said more plain, more true?
The Divine Institutes – Wikipedia
If the offspring of Cadmus, or Amphitryon, or Tyndarus, was worthy of being extolled by fame to the heaven, the same honour ought undoubtedly to be appropriated to her. Bat if they are smooth and without hooks, they cannot cohere. Since, in truthhe says, we see many men and women among the number of the gods, and venerate their shrines, held in the greatest honour in cities and in the country, let us assent to the wisdom of those to whose talents and inventions we owe it that life is altogether adorned with laws and institutions, and established on a firm basis.
Thus by degrees religious honours began to be paid to them; while those who had known them, first instructed their own children and grandchildren, and afterwards all their posterity, in the practice of this rite. Also in his Exhortations: Therefore it appears that Saturn was not born from heaven, which is impossible, but from that man who bore the name of Uranus. This history was translated and followed by Ennius, whose words are these: This Being, when He was laying the first foundations of the most beautiful fabric, and was commencing this work, than which nature has known nothing greater or better, that all things might serve their own rulers, although He had spread Himself out through the whole body, yet He produced gods as ministers of His kingdom.
The Divine Institutes
Among the Romans, Julius was made a god, because it pleased a guilty man, Antony; Quirinus was made a god, because it seemed good to institutez shepherds, though one of them was the murderer of his twin brother, the other the destroyer of his country. I would rather that they should make to themselves gods from the slaughter of wild beasts, than approve of an immortality so stained with blood.
But if more than one divide the government of the world, undoubtedly each will have less power and strength, since every one must confine himself within his prescribed lactxntius.
For when Vulcan had made arms for the gods, and Jupiter had given him the option of asking for whatever reward he might wish, and had swornaccording to his custom, by the infernal lake, that he would refuse him nothing which he might ask, then the lame artificer demanded Minerva in marriage. There is no great dispute, if there is doubton the part of the greatest authorities respecting the son and the father.
Divine Institutes, Book I (Of the False Worship of the Gods)
For they so discharged the office entrusted to them, that, disregarding all things necessary for the maintenance of life, they were so far from laying up store for the future, that they did not even labour for the day, content with the unstored food which God had supplied; and these not only had no gains, institufes even endured torments and death.
According to Charles E. For no one will deny this, that Hercules was not only a servant to Eurystheus, a king, which to a certain extent may appear honourablebut also to an unchaste womanOmphale, who used to order him to sit at her feet, clothed with her garments, and executing xivine appointed task.