Origines and the Valentianer

#1
... refering to
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1049&start=170#p16159
and
http://gnosis.org/library/advh1.htm

****************************
CHAP. I.--ABSURD IDEAS OF THE DISCIPLES OF VALENTINUS AS TO THE ORIGIN, NAME, ORDER, AND CONJUGAL PRODUCTIONS OF THEIR FANCIED AEONS, WITH THE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE WHICH THEY ADAPT TO THEIR OPINIONS.

1. THEY maintain, then, that in the invisible and ineffable heights above there exists a certain perfect, pre-existent AEon,(4) whom they call Proarche, Propator, and Bythus, and describe as being invisible and incomprehensible. Eternal and unbegotten, he remained throughout innumerable cycles of ages in profound serenity and quiescence. There existed along with him Ennoea, whom they also call Charis and Sige.(5) At last this Bythus determined to send forth from himself the beginning of all things, and deposited this production (which he had resolved to bring forth) in his contemporary Sige, even as seed is deposited in the womb. She then, having received this seed, and becoming pregnant, gave birth to Nous, who was both similar and equal to him who had produced him, and was alone capable of comprehending his father's greatness. This Nous they call also Monogenes, and Father, and the Beginning of all Things. Along with him was also produced Aletheia; and these four constituted the first and first-begotten Pythagorean Tetrad, which they also denominate the root of all things. For there are first Bythus and Sige, and then Nous and Aletheia.
First pair:
Bythus (Proarche, Propator) - Ennoea (Charis, Sige)
Bythos = depth
Proarche = first beginning
Propator = ancestor
Ennoea(= some sort of Shakti, I would say; or "nature")
Charis (= Greek mythology had 3 Charites, which were called daughter of Zeus and Eurynome in one version and Eurynome was called 3rd bride of Zeus; Eurynome's other husband in other traditions was Ophion, the snake)
Sige = silence

... parents of ...

Second pair:
Nous (Monogenes, Father, beginning of all things) - Aletheia
Nous = intellect or intelligence
Monogenes = "only begotten", discussed as "pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship"
Aletheia = truth

With ...
" these four constituted the first and first-begotten Pythagorean Tetrad"
... it seems, as if they were related to the numbers 1,2,3 and 4, at least according the opinion of Irenaeus.
And Monogenes, perceiving for what purpose he had been produced, also himself sent forth Logos and Zoe, being the father of all those who were to come after him, and the beginning and fashioning of the entire Pleroma. By the conjunction of Logos and Zoo were brought forth Anthropos and Ecclesia; and thus was formed the first-begotten Ogdoad, the root and substance of all things, called among them by four names, viz., Bythus, and Nous, and Logos, and Anthropos. For each of these is masculo-feminine, as follows: Propator was united by a conjunction with his Ennoea; then Monogenes, that is Nous, with Aletheia; Logos with Zoe, and Anthropos with Ecclesia.
3rd pair:
Logos - Zoe
Logos = (wiki: "Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "to reason"it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge. Ancient philosophers used the term in different ways. The sophists used the term to mean discourse, and Aristotle applied the term to refer to "reasoned discourse" or "the argument" in the field of rhetoric. The Stoic philosophers identified the term with the divine animating principle pervading the Universe.")
Zoe = "life"

4th pair:
Anthropos - Ecclesia
Anthropos = "Man", the first human being"
Ecclesia = " the principal assembly of ancient Athens during its Golden Age", "a theocratic organisational structure in ancient Israelite society", "the church", here likely "just mankind or the people"

Origines proceeding:
2. These AEons having been produced for the glory of the Father, and wishing, by their own efforts, to effect this object, sent forth emanations by means of conjunction. Logos and Zoe, after producing Anthropos and Ecclesia, sent forth other ten AEons, whose names are the following: Bythius and Mixis, Ageratos and Henosis, Autophyes and Hedone, Acinetos and Syncrasis, Monogenes and Macaria.(6) These are the ten AEons whom they declare to have been produced by Logos and Zoe. They then add that Anthropos himself, along with Ecclesia, produced twelve AEons, to whom they give the following names: Paracletus and Pistis, Patricos and Elpis, Metricos and Agape, Ainos and Synesis, Ecclesiasticus and Macariotes, Theletos and Sophia.
Hm ...

Actually these are 2 families with 12 children each, cause Logos-Zoe have 12 children and Anthropos-Ecclesia also have 12 children. By the genealogical trick to make Anthropos-Ecclesia to children of Logos-Zoe the number is reduced somehow artificially from 24 to 22. Anthropos-Ecclesia become somehow part of all 3 systems: in the 8 as a pair, in the 10 as hidden oldest son and oldest daughter, and in the 12 as parents.

In a view to standard Greek mythology we get something similar: Uranos-Gaia had 12 Titans as children (6 pairs again), and one of these pairs was Kronos-Rhea. This got 6 children (3 pairs) and these became (somehow) the half of the final 12 Olympians (with some complications).

(will be proceeded)
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#2
Huck wrote,
Ennoea(= some sort of Shakti, I would say; or "nature")
Charis (= Greek mythology had 3 Charites, which were called daughter of Zeus and Eurynome in one version and Eurynome was called 3rd bride of Zeus; Eurynome's other husband in other traditions was Ophion, the snake)
That is reading too much into the words. Here "Ennoea" means "thought". Bentley Layton translation (The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 282):
First, the ancestor united with its thought--called also loveliness and silence--forming a pair.
Grant's translation (Other Bible, p. 611) has "thought":
With him is Thought, which is also called Grace and Silence.
Ennoia is definitely not nature. That comes into being much later, from Desire of Sophia, who emits the four elements.
Charis is most likely "Grace" rather than "loveliness", I think. They are using Christian vocabulary, not pagan. Ptolemaeus is writing in Rome. He belongs to the same Church of Rome that Irenaeus belongs to, but is trying to set up a faction within it who are dissatisfied with the conventional interpretations of scripture (originally in Greek) that Irenaeus insists upon. He is writing in Greek, but all that has survived is Irenaeus's Latin translation, which keeps a lot of Greek words.

Huck wrote
Logos = (wiki: "Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "to reason"it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge. Ancient philosophers used the term in different ways. The sophists used the term to mean discourse, and Aristotle applied the term to refer to "reasoned discourse" or "the argument" in the field of rhetoric. The Stoic philosophers identified the term with the divine animating principle pervading the Universe.")
Again, the context is intended to be Christian. "Logos" is a word in the Gospel of John, there meaning "ordering principle", since the Logos "made all things". It also applies to Jesus's teaching, the Word or Speech of God, which he is.
Here the idea is that of the "fashioner", so the ordering principle. (Not "animating principle": that's Zoe's job.) Layton has "Word"; Grant leaves it "Logos".

Huck wrote,
Anthropos = "Man", the first human being"
Ecclesia = " the principal assembly of ancient Athens during its Golden Age", "a theocratic organisational structure in ancient Israelite society", "the church", here likely "just mankind or the people".
Anthropos is probably Adam-Kadmon, the Jewish original Adam. "Anthropos" means "man" (Grant) or "human being" (Layton). These are archetypes (a word coinced by Philo, but it conveys the meaning betterthan the transliterated "ideas" or the currently fashionable "forms"). Ecclesia just means "Church", the archetype of all existing churches.

For the next bunch, it is also important to understand the meanings of the words. They don't correspond to anything in Hesiod. They are abstractions, Platonic archetypes. They can indeed be seen as 6 plus 12 plus 12, however. And they may well be conscious rewrites of Hesiod's genealogies in Platonistic terms, in the spirit of Plato in the Symposium, who invented new parents for Eros, besides however many he already had (of himself, of Ge, of Eileithyia, of Nyx, of Venus, according to http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Eros.html). Later classical writers invented other parents.

The 10 are then, according to Grant:
Deep and Mingling, Unageing and Union, Self-Produced and Pleasure, Immovable, and Mixture, Only-Begotten and Blessing
And Layton:
The Deep-Sunken and Intercourse, the Unaging and Union, the Self-Produced and Pleasure, the Motionless and Mixture, the Only-Begotten and Blessing
The 12 are then, according to Grant:
Paraclete and Faith, Paternal and Hope, Maternal and Love, Everlasting and Intelligence, Ecclesiastical and Blessdness, Willed and Sophia.
And Layton:
The Intercessor and Faith, the Fatherly and Hope, the Motherly and Love, the Ever-Flowing and Intelligence
The Ecclesiastical and Blessedness, the Wished-For and Wisdom (Sophia, "Higher Wisdom")

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#3
The whole period is called "syncretism", a word, which was invented by Plutarch (according wiki; Plutarch was speaking of a social/political concept at earlier Creta).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism
Religious syncretism exhibits blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. This can occur for many reasons, and the latter scenario happens quite commonly in areas where multiple religious traditions exist in proximity and function actively in the culture, or when a culture is conquered, and the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in entirely eradicating the old beliefs or, especially, practices.
Ancient Greece
Classical Athens was exclusive in matters of religion. The Decree of Diopeithes made the introduction of and belief in foreign gods a criminal offence and only Greeks were allowed to worship in Athenian temples and festivals as foreigners were considered impure.

On the other hand, Athens imported many foreign cults, including those of Cybele and the Thracian goddess Bendis, and in some cases this involved a merging of identities: for example, Heracles, who had traditionally been regarded as a mortal hero, began here and elsewhere in the Aegean world to be identified as a divine (Olympian) figure, perhaps under the influence of Eastern counterparts like the Tyrian Melqart.

Syncretism functioned as a feature of Hellenistic Ancient Greek religion, although only outside of Greece. Overall, Hellenistic culture in the age that followed Alexander the Great itself showed syncretist features, essentially blending of Mesopotamian, Persian, Anatolian, Egyptian (and eventually Etruscan–Roman) elements within an Hellenic formula. The Egyptian god Amun developed as the Hellenized Zeus Ammon after Alexander the Great went into the desert to seek out Amun's oracle at Siwa.

Such identifications derive from interpretatio graeca, the Hellenic habit of identifying gods of disparate mythologies with their own. When the proto-Greeks (peoples whose language would evolve into Greek proper) first arrived in the Aegean and on the mainland of modern-day Greece early in the 2nd millennium BCE, they found localized nymphs and divinities already connected with every important feature of the landscape: mountain, cave, grove and spring all had their own locally venerated deity. The countless epithets of the Olympian gods reflect their syncretic identification with these various figures. One defines "Zeus Molossos" (worshipped only at Dodona) as "the god identical to Zeus as worshipped by the Molossians at Dodona". Much of the apparently arbitrary and trivial mythic fabling results from later mythographers' attempts to explain these obscure epithets.
Origines was in Alexandria (living 185 - c. 254) for some time and Valentinus (c. 100-160) was in Alexandria and Alexandria was one of the biggest cities then with a lot of Greeks and a lot of Jews, not only Egyptians. In other words: the ideal place to fabricate some syncretism, hardly there was a better one.

One has to learn a lot, when studying this theme. For instance this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Co ... Alexandria
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is one of the Oriental Orthodox churches (not to be mistaken with the Byzantine Orthodox group of churches) and is presided over by the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria who is the body's spiritual leader. This position is held since 2012 by Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark.

The Oriental Orthodox believe that they are the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic" Church of the ancient Christian creeds.

Historically, the title "Pope" was first adopted by Pope Heraclas, the 13th Alexandrine Archbishop (232–249 AD), three centuries before it was assumed by John I, the Roman Bishop (523–526), who ratified the Alexandrian computation of the date of Easter. Bestowing the title on Rome's Pontiff did not strip it from Alexandria's, and the Roman Catholic Church recognizes this.
The Byzantine list of popes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Gr ... Alexandria

It agrees with the start of the pope list in Alexandria, till the schism at the council of Chalcedon, which followed a scandalous 2nd council of Ephesus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Council_of_Ephesus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Chalcedon

The Roman list of popes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes
A significant number of these popes have been recognized as saints, including 48 out of the first 50 consecutive popes and others are in the sainthood process.

The first 31 popes, with the exception of Zephyrinus, died as martyrs (see List of murdered popes).
The murdered popes ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_murdered_popes
Somehow this means, that in the early time of christianity Alexandria might have been by far more of importance than the Western branch of this religion, for natural reasons, cause the place of first action around Jerusalem is much closer to Alexandria than to Rome.
The Roman list of popes looks very much like a late historical construction with all its murdered popes and martyrs.
The Alexandria version has much more reality.

The state of Rome became very poor during 5th and 6th century. Somewhere I've read, that Rome had in 6th century about 15.000 inhabitants, falling down from once around 700.000. "During Justinian I's reign, the city's population reached about 500,000 people." The plague of Justinian is said to have reduced this number about 40 %.
For Rome Wiki states: " Its population declined from more than a million in 210 AD to 500,000 in 273 to 35,000 after the Gothic War, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins, vegetation, vineyards and market gardens.
Alexandria had suffered by a gigantic tsunami in 365 AD.
Wiki states: "In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a tsunami (365 Crete earthquake), an event annually commemorated years later as a "day of horror." In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by newly Christian Romans had reached new levels of intensity. In 391, the Patriarch Theophilus destroyed all pagan temples in Alexandria under orders from Emperor Theodosius I. The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were desolate in the 5th century. On the mainland, life seemed to have centered in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both of which became Christian churches. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and were left intact."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/365_Crete_earthquake
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria

For the Valentinians ...
With a few exceptions, Valentinians were an accepted part of Christian congregations until the fourth century. Gradually the views of extremists such as Irenaeus and Tertullian prevailed and known Valentinians were expelled from Catholic congregations. They continued to meet in secret but increasingly they began to take on an identity as an independent sect. Despite persecution, the Valentinian school is refered to in historical records until at least the seventh century.
http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinu ... zation.htm

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Ort ... Alexandria
... survived with 10% members of the population till 21st century.
The Muslim invasion of Egypt took place in AD 639. Despite the political upheaval, the Egyptian population remained mainly Christian. However, gradual conversions to Islam over the centuries had changed Egypt from a Christian to a largely Muslim country by the end of the 12th century.
Some notes:

Valentinus ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentinus_%28Gnostic%29

Basilides (taught 117 - 138)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilides
... better is
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wace/biodict.h ... %20founder

Tertullian
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian

Tertullian: AGAINST THE VALENTINIANS.
IN WHICH THE AUTHOR GIVES A CONCISE ACCOUNT OF, TOGETHER WITH SUNDRY CAUSTIC ANIMADVERSIONS ON, THE VERY FANTASTIC THEOLOGY OF THE SECT. THIS TREATISE IS PROFESSEDLY TAKEN FROM THE WRITINGS OF JUSTIN, MILTIADES, IRENAEUS, AND PROCULUS.
http://earlychristianwritings.com/text/ ... ian14.html

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Gnostische Elemente und die Aeonenlehre des Talmud
by "Rabbiner Oppenheim"
Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums - 1855 - Heft 2
http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/c ... ew/2853583

This work ...

1. ... contains a reference to Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891), Geschichte der Juden, Gnosticimus und Judentum
The work seems to be the dissertation of Graetz, published 1846, see ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=38PVG6 ... 22&f=false
I didn't find the text online.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Graetz

2. ... contains a reference to Matter, Geschichte des Gnosticismus

From this author:
Kritische Geschichte des Gnosticismus und seines Einflusses auf die religiösen und philosophischen Sekten der sechs ersten Jahrhunderte der christlichen Zeitrechnung: eine ... Preisschrift, Volume 2
Jacques Matter, Christian H. Dörner
Drechsler, 1833 - 330 pages

3. ... contains notes to different systems of "Aeons". According this ...

a. Basilides calls the Aeons "Uranoi"
compare ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraxas
365 heavens
(somewhere I noted a combination of 365 and 248, which are in Jewish texts used to relate to 613 laws; I forgot the place of this gnostic source)
elsewhere "390 rakias", related in the same context
another relation to "360", called an "old system"
elsewhere "310 Olamot (= Aeons)"
(elsewhere I saw a "320" in similar context, I'd forgotten the place)
"300" is also noted

b. Bardesanes calls them "Ithoi"
compare ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardaisan

(will proceed)
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#4
Origines was in Alexandria (living 185 - c. 254) for some time and Valentinus (c. 100-160) was in Alexandria and Alexandria was one of the biggest cities then with a lot of Greeks and a lot of Jews, not only Egyptians. In other words: the ideal place to fabricate some syncretism, hardly there was a better one.
It does not follow that if one is in a center of syncretism, that one is therefore a syncretist. The Gnostics are called syncretists in the above link. So is the Roman Church, in relation to the Celts and the Germanic tribes. I am not sure how closely one should follow Wikipedia. There are different kinds of syncretism, in Wikipedia's sense. There is syncretism of the sort that Erasmus and Plutarch described, of different belief-systems tolerating one another. There is is also the syncretism of those who hold that different regions have different expressions of what are fundamentally abstract principles, i.e. there is an underlying unity, even if the worshipers don't recognize it.

Wikipedia distinguishes assimilationism from syncretism. A religion assimilates what is true in former religions. I am not sure which applies to the Valentinians. In relation to the Roman Church, which the Valentininians called the "psychic" church, the Valentinians simply said, mythically speaking that their god wasn't the highest god--or perhaps, non-mythically, their conception of God wasn't as high as the Valentinians'--their afterlife wasn't the highest afterlife, etc. It acknowledged the validity of the orthodox believers' beliefs, but on a lower level than their own. In Platonism "belief" is a lower level than "knowledge". And "knowledge", in Plato, is attained through "dialectic", that is, the juxtaposing of contradictory statements with equal claim to belief. And one never gets to pure "truth", because of the limitations of living in this world. In cultures in which one tribe's religion is put alongside another's, people looking at both from a neutral standpoint might say, why one rather than the other? That, for the Platonist at that time, is the beginning of wisdom. What is higher is what is most in accord with both reason and experience, or perhaps, experience guided by reason. Gnosticism is a variety of Middle Platonism. What distinguishes the different varieties is simply the mythic images they use. The Chaldean Oracles used Zoroastrian imagery. The Gnostics used Judeo-Christian imagery and probably others since lost, as there is much in their writings that makes no sense to us. Apuleius used Isis-Osiris imagery among others. Likewise for Plutarch, who saw the Egyptian religion, or at least the Egyptian religion as perceived by the Greeks, as revealing some of the truth, but there was also Platonic and Orphic myth, and Greek natural philosophy, all of which he used creatively, i.e. knowing it was technically a lie. It is difficult to know what Ficino thought, as he had the Inquisition over his shoulder. From Neoplatonism, it is not hard to get to Christian Neoplatonism. So Christian Neoplatonism is merely the highest form of religion. What that does to belief in the Apostles' Creed I don't know. Perhaps it was a matter of interpretation.

If you see Hesiod being used by Valentinianism, show the connections. But it has to be shown, because not everything was assimilated into their system.

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#5
mikeh wrote: It does not follow that if one is in a center of syncretism, that one is therefore a syncretist. The Gnostics are called syncretists in the above link. So is the Roman Church, in relation to the Celts and the Germanic tribes. I am not sure how closely one should follow Wikipedia. There are different kinds of syncretism, in Wikipedia's sense. There is syncretism of the sort that Erasmus and Plutarch described, of different belief-systems tolerating one another. There is is also the syncretism of those who hold that different regions have different expressions of what are fundamentally abstract principles, i.e. there is an underlying unity, even if the worshipers don't recognize it.
...:-) ... I tried to find the passage of Plutarch (I've a "490ab" in the "Moralia"), but had no luck. It seems that the people of Crete once overcame their own differences to unite against an enemy. Maybe the earlier differences were connected to religious disputes, I don't know. Perhaps Plutarch reflected the very early times of Minoan civilization.

I suspect the ideas of Valentinus to be part of an action of practical syncretism.
What I actually search is the background for the "32 ways of wisdom" in SY. Some texts of the gnostic movements contain a "32", the Valentinus concept belongs to them (at least in my opinion).
Looking at the Valentinus details I get "Greek names of Aeons" united to a relative modern "Christ movement exported from Jerusalem" and a "Sophia" possibly connected to general philosophy mixed with "Egypt calendar elements" and possibly also mathematical "Zoroaster schemes from old Persia".

Well, that's "syncretism" as I understand it. Syncretism seems to be a natural follow-up to political unity, in the given case just the expansive movements of the Roman Empire. Local traditions lose their importance, new combinations of modern intellectual insights are the winners. The Christ story is modern and successful and older interpretations are eager to try to incorporate this factor. Others, who feel like the "original Christians" try to defend their aims. Origines and Tertullian, who took position against the Valentinus interpretation, are themselves suspected to have told occasionally the "wrong stuff".
Wikipedia distinguishes assimilationism from syncretism. A religion assimilates what is true in former religions. I am not sure which applies to the Valentinians. In relation to the Roman Church, which the Valentininians called the "psychic" church, the Valentinians simply said, mythically speaking that their god wasn't the highest god--or perhaps, non-mythically, their conception of God wasn't as high as the Valentinians'--their afterlife wasn't the highest afterlife, etc. It acknowledged the validity of the orthodox believers' beliefs, but on a lower level than their own. In Platonism "belief" is a lower level than "knowledge". And "knowledge", in Plato, is attained through "dialectic", that is, the juxtaposing of contradictory statements with equal claim to belief. And one never gets to pure "truth", because of the limitations of living in this world. In cultures in which one tribe's religion is put alongside another's, people looking at both from a neutral standpoint might say, why one rather than the other? That, for the Platonist at that time, is the beginning of wisdom. What is higher is what is most in accord with both reason and experience, or perhaps, experience guided by reason. Gnosticism is a variety of Middle Platonism. What distinguishes the different varieties is simply the mythic images they use. The Chaldean Oracles used Zoroastrian imagery. The Gnostics used Judeo-Christian imagery and probably others since lost, as there is much in their writings that makes no sense to us. Apuleius used Isis-Osiris imagery among others. Likewise for Plutarch, who saw the Egyptian religion, or at least the Egyptian religion as perceived by the Greeks, as revealing some of the truth, but there was also Platonic and Orphic myth, and Greek natural philosophy, all of which he used creatively, i.e. knowing it was technically a lie. It is difficult to know what Ficino thought, as he had the Inquisition over his shoulder. From Neoplatonism, it is not hard to get to Christian Neoplatonism. So Christian Neoplatonism is merely the highest form of religion. What that does to belief in the Apostles' Creed I don't know. Perhaps it was a matter of interpretation.
There were very different sorts of "gnosticism" and a lot of them is only known by name and likely some were there, about which nothing was known. And there were other religious ideas, some reported and others not reported. A lot of blanks, perhaps comparable to our knowledge about early playing cards.

... :-) ... History is also married to an "Ennoea called also Sige (= silence)", And in our modern gigantic astronomical universe with billions of galaxies and much more stars with much more planets the most constant thing is the empty space.
If you see Hesiod being used by Valentinianism, show the connections. But it has to be shown, because not everything was assimilated into their system.
I thought, I'd talked about this. The scheme is the same or better said "similar", the termini have changed.
A deeper look at the heart of Greek mythology:
Titan fight part 2 - Kronos is beaten, but Atlas takes the command.
Atlas is beaten. His brother Menoitios crashed in the Tartaros. Brother Prometheus (clever)doesn't fight, but gets later also trouble. Epimetheus marries Pandora and has other problems.

The Olympian 6 (3 female, 3 male) are the winners.

*******************************************************

1 Atlas - carries heaven
2 - wise Prometheus
3 - stupid Epimetheus
----------------------------
4 Zeus - male - marries 7 Hera
5 Hades - male - gets no children
6 Poseiden - male - rapes 9 Demeter
7 Hera - female - marries Zeus
8 Hestia - female - gets no children
9 Demeter - female - raped by Poseidon
-----------------------------
10 Menotios - fallen down to Tartaros

The fight between children of Iapetos against children of Kronos. 10 characters with similarities to Sephiroth definitions, formulated long before SY.

****************************************************

A second tree - 8 other Titan children:

1-3: one 3-dimensional Helios

4-6: the 3 sons of Krios - naturally male - one marries 9 Eos, another Asterie, the 3rd marries Styx, the river of the underworld

7 Leto, daughter of Koios - gets children of Zeus, Apollo + Artemis
8 Asterie, daughter of Koios - gets a daughter of her husband, Hekate - escapes Zeus, becomes island Delos
9 Eos, leaves her husband, mates with mortal man.

10 Selene, Moon

**************************************************************

Before: Uranos + Gaia.
Children:

1-3: groups of 3
3 men with one eye - Kentaurs
3 men with 100 arms - Hekatoncheiren
when castrated by Kronos - 3 Erinyen

4-9: 6 pairs of Titans
Kronos - Rhea
Hyperion - Theia
Krios - Themis
Iapetos - Mnemosyne
Koios - Phoibe
Oceanos - Thetis

10 Aphrodite, when castrated by Kronos

3x3 + 2x6 + 1 = 22
from viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1049&p=16113&hilit=iapetos#p16113

An 8 ... children of Krios, Koios and Hyperion
A 10 ... children of Kronos and Iapetos
A 12 ... 6 pairs of Titans, children of Uranos and Gaia

This is quite a different arrangement, nonetheless "somehow similar".
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#6
Nag-Hammadi had a large found of old scriptures in 1945. Most were from gnostic literature (52 texts) together with some others in 12 codices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nag_Hammadi_library
also in
Iranische Spuren im Zostrianos von Nag Hammadi: persische Einflüsse auf Gnosis und Christentum
Michael Lütge
Peter Lang, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 319 pages
https://books.google.de/books?id=_K4FAlUFzYAC&dq
(detailed report about the Nag Hammadi text at the beginning in German)

The analyzes lead to a specific time, when the texts were hidden (late 4th century or begin of 5th century). The location is close to a cloister based on the hermit Pachomius (baptized 1314), a pupil of the hermit Palaemon (1317).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachomius_the_Great
By the time Pachomius died (c. 345) eight monasteries and several hundred monks followed his guidance. Within a generation, cenobic practices spread from Egypt to Palestine and the Judean Desert, Syria, North Africa and eventually Western Europe. The number of monks, rather than the number of monasteries, may have reached 7000.
According Alexander Polyhistor ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Polyhistor
... the region had a crocodile cult
Sobek, son of Set and Neith ...
The entire Faiyum region — the "Land of the Lake" in Egyptian (specifically referring to Lake Moeris) — served as a cult center of Sobek.
Faiyum is the larger region around Nag-Hammadi.
Sobek first acquired a role as a solar deity through his connection to Horus, but this was further strengthened in later periods with the emergence of Sobek-Ra, a fusion of Sobek and Egypt’s primary sun god, Ra. Sobek-Horus persisted as a figure in the New Kingdom (1550—1069 BCE), but it was not until the last dynasties of Egypt that Sobek-Ra gained prominence. This understanding of the god was maintained after the fall of Egypt’s last native dynasty in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt (c. 332 BCE—390 CE). The prestige of both Sobek and Sobek-Ra endured in this time period and tributes to him attained greater prominence – both through the expansion of his dedicated cultic sites and a concerted scholarly effort to make him the subject of religious doctrine.

The cult was still active in 4th century.

Deciding for the Nag-Hammadi finding is, that most texts point to Sethians ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sethianism
..., a gnostic group, which likely had the texts in their possessions and decided to hide them. The Sethians, as far I remember my earlier studies, were famous for their interests in math, which the given context is an interesting information.
Sobek was related to Set, the Egyptian god. The Sethians had a connection to Seth, 3rd son of Adam and Eve. The Sethians seem to have a strong connection to Zoroastrian elements.

I followed the author Michael Lütge, who has written a long work (about 1000 pages) about "travels to heaven" ...
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/mich ... ktiken.pdf

At one passage he counted the appearance of Aion in Greek texts ... I wonder, how he did this, somewhere must be a tool, which has all old Greek text together, so that you can check them with a search engine, that can count the appearances of a word.

Page 1004
"Aeon" kommt in griechischer Literatur vor: 8.Jh.v.Chr. 22mal, 6.Jh. 60mal, 5.Jh. 131mal, 4. Jh.
68mal, 3.Jh. 26mal, 2.Jh. 65mal, 1.Jh.v.Chr. 197mal, 1.Jh.n.Chr. 588mal, 2.Jh. 1855mal und
3.Jh. 338mal. Damit ist das 1. und 2.Jh.n.Chr. die Blütezeit dieses Begriffs. Bei Homer war
Aion Lebenskraft und Lebenszeit, während Pindar, Heraklit und Empedokles unter Aion die
Lebenszeit begreifen; erst ab dem 4.Jh.v.Chr. wird Aion bei Isokrates, Demosthenes und Platon
zu Ewigkeit.
[Footnote]
Worthäufigkeit ab 3x: Homer 14x, Hesiod 5x, Pindar 21x, Aischylos 20x, Simonides 5x, Xenophanes 4x,
Heraklit 4x, Euripides 33x, Isokrates 6x, Sophokles 10x, Herodot 5x, Xenophon 7x, Plato 15x, Bacchylides
4x, Hippokrates 13x, Empedokles 12x, Philolaos 11x, Demosthenes 6x, Lykurg 4x, Aristoteles 21x, Callimachus
5x, Epicur 7x, Menander 6x, Hecataeus Abderita 7x, Apollonius Rhodius 6x, Chrysipp 7x, Timaios 5x,
Posidonius 5x, Apocalypsis Esdrae 6x, Oracula Sibyllina 48x, Dionysius 5x, Philo 105x, Diodor 65x, Dionysius
Halicarnassensis 21x, Vita Adam Evae 5x, Plutarch 32x, NT 192x, Josephus 42x, [Longinus] 9x, Dio
Chrysostomus 12x, Erotianus 4x, Apollonius 6x, Barnabae Epistula 11x, Clemens Romanus 216x, Herennius
Philo 5x, Ignatius 51x
The meaning of the word changes with the time. The word is most often used in 1st and 2nd century AD. The most intensive users seem to have been NT (for new testament) and Clemens Romanus, an early pope.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#7
Thanks for explaining the 8, 10, and 12 over again in relation to Hesiod, Huck.

The Gnostics were big on creation myths, so they're a good source.

I don't understand why you are interested in Sobek. the Egyptian "Set" or "Seth" (in Greek, Typhon) is not related to the Gnostic "Sethians". That Seth is the third son of Eve. Perhaps the Sethians were localized differently than the Valentinians, I don't know. The Valentinians were originally Alexandrian, I think.

There are several Valentinian essays in the Nag Hammadi colection: "Gospel of Truth", "Tripartite Tractate" (the most obviously Valentinian), perhaps the Gospel of Philip, also the Treatise on the Resurrection. and the "Valentinian Exposition". But the majority are Sethian. The Gospel of Thomas is fairly non-sectarian Gnostic. The Gospel of Mary has a journey through the planetary archons.

The best authority on Valentinianism is Giles Quispel. Probably he is available in German. He's from one of those places where they speak a lot of langauges.

In Gnostic writings, the spelling is "Aeon", not "Aion"

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#8
mikeh wrote:Thanks for explaining the 8, 10, and 12 over again in relation to Hesiod, Huck.

The Gnostics were big on creation myths, so they're a good source.

I don't understand why you are interested in Sobek. the Egyptian "Set" or "Seth" (in Greek, Typhon) is not related to the Gnostic "Sethians". That Seth is the third son of Eve. Perhaps the Sethians were localized differently than the Valentinians, I don't know. The Valentinians were originally Alexandrian, I think.

There are several Valentinian essays in the Nag Hammadi colection: "Gospel of Truth", "Tripartite Tractate" (the most obviously Valentinian), perhaps the Gospel of Philip, also the Treatise on the Resurrection. and the "Valentinian Exposition". But the majority are Sethian. The Gospel of Thomas is fairly non-sectarian Gnostic. The Gospel of Mary has a journey through the planetary archons.

The best authority on Valentinianism is Giles Quispel. Probably he is available in German. He's from one of those places where they speak a lot of langauges.

In Gnostic writings, the spelling is "Aeon", not "Aion"
Alpha-Iota-Omega-Ny .... is "Iota" = "I" or is Iota = "E" ?

... :-)

English says "Aeon", German (kleiner Pauly, the big work to old Greek matters) says "Aion".

Epsilon is 5th letter in Greek, and we have E as 5th letter. Iota is 9th letter in Greek and we've "I" as 9th letter.

Somehow it's logical to write "Aion". "Aeon" is English.
But languages are not always logical.

**************

That's also not so easy with "Set or Seth" and "Seth".

Wiki:
Set /sɛt/ or Seth (/sɛθ/; also spelled Setesh, Sutekh,[1] Setekh, or Suty) is a god of the desert, storms, disorder, violence and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_(mythology)

Osiris naturally stood for "river" and "not-desert" and "homeland-people" and "not-foreigners".

Who were "foreigners" for the perspective of very cultivated Egyptians? These invading wild nomads, which produced chaos and violence in their system. Jews belonged to them in the good old times, when Egypt still was rather powerful.

Jews were attacked to serve a donkey god, even in the later period.

Wiki:
In art, Set is mostly depicted as a fabulous creature, referred to by Egyptologists as the Set animal. The animal has a curved snout, long rectangular ears, a thin forked tail and canine body, with sprouted fur tufts in an inverted arrow shape; sometimes, Set is depicted as a human with only the head of the Set animal. It does not resemble any known creature, although it could be seen as a composite of an aardvark, a donkey, a jackal, or a fennec fox. Some early Egyptologists have proposed that it was a stylised representation of the giraffe, due to the large flat-topped 'horns' which correspond to a giraffe's ossicones. However, the Egyptians made a distinction between the giraffe and the Set animal. In the Late Period, Set is depicted as a donkey or with the head of a donkey.

Image

In ancient times, the Jews were accused of having a statue of a donkey in their temple. In some versions of the story, Moses was depicted riding the ass, in other versions it was just an ass by itself, or only the head of an ass. From whence did this accusation of onolatry (donkey worship) arise?
http://commonpaine.blogspot.de/2012/09/donkey-god.html

for instance ...
Also, Manetho's Aegyptiaca (quoted in part by Josephus) written about 270 BC, connects the Jews in general and Moses in particular with the Egyptian god Seth. He tells us the Hyksos (shephards) withdrew from Egypt, wandered in the desert, and finally settled in Judea where they founded the city of Jerusalem (Against Apion I:75-90). The Hyksos are elsewhere described as worshipers of Seth.
It's not so easy.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#9
All I meant to say about "Aeon" is that in searching for occurrences of the word in ancient writings, it is a good idea to search under "Aeon", because that's the way it is spelled--well, OK, in English. I didn't know it was spelled differetnly in German. If you want occurrences of the word in German sources, look for "Aion"; for English, "Aeon". (The above slightly modified from the original, which Huck quotes.)

On Seth, the issue is, why were the Sethian Gnostics called Sethians? And who called them that? That is what I think needs to be looked at.

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#10
mikeh wrote:All I meant to say about "Aeon" is that in searching for occurrences of the word in ancient writings , it is a good idea to search under "Aeon". I didn't know the Germans spelled it differently, so thanks. So search under both spellings, and any other in other languages.

On Seth, the issue is, why were the Sethian Gnostics called Sethians? And who called them that? That is what I think needs to be looked at.
I didn't search for "Aion", the author Luedke did. Naturally he used the Greek "Aion".
There must be somewhere a database, where you can research all texts till a specific time for specific expressions.

For "Seth" it's a question, who was first: The Egyptian god or the biblical 3rd son of Adam?

What for one culture might be a "good word" and a "good person", might easily become for an hostile culture a "nasty word" and a "bad god".
The Sethians related to Seth as the 3rd son of Adam. The Jews took their myths often from older sources. It doesn't help to say, that the bible was written c. 900 BC.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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